Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai successfully performed first time in India, two, Bilateral Hand Transplants on quadruple amputee patients within 15 days

Mumbai becoming a preferred destination for hand transplant surgeries

Mumbai, 18th Nov 2021: Two quadruple amputees who were up and about with lower limb prosthesis got a new pair of hands after undergoing successful Bilateral Hand Transplants at Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai. In the history of hand transplants, this is the first instance of a successful outcome of bilateral hand transplants in quadruple amputee patients. The surgeries were performed on a 22 year old aspiring kabaddi player from Rajasthan and 33 year old Accountant from Pune.

22 year old aspiring kabaddi player, Jagdev Singh, from a remote village in Rajasthan had suffered electric shock 20 months ago in Jan 2020 and lost both his hands and legs as they had to be amputated due to infection and gangrene. The year Singh lost all his limbs, he was supposed to join a kabbadi academy. Singh’s family experienced medical miracle on the day of Dusshera 15th October 2021 when they got a call from the hospital that a pair of limbs are being donated in Ahmedabad. A large team of doctors comprising plastic, hand and microvascular surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and anaesthesiologists participated in the complex surgery, which went on for 13 hours. The patient was closely monitored by a team of intensive care physicians, immunologists and nurses to ensure a smooth post-operative recovery. The team of physiotherapists worked hard to make him stand on his prosthetic legs again, as Singh had to learn the art of balancing his weight and walk on his prosthetic legs while adjusting to his newly transplanted hands.

On the other hand, two years ago, Prakash Shelar, 32 year male from Pune also suffered from an electric shock during Diwali 2019, which resulted in gangrene of all 4 limbs leading to amputation. An accountant by profession, he was the sole earning member for his family of 6 including his parents, wife and 2 children aged 4 and 2 years. Due to the tragic incident, he lost his job and is dependent on his family for his basic needs. His wife and mother have taken up small jobs to support the family and education of their children. He met Dr. Nilesh Satbhai 9 months back and was registered on the recipient waiting list for Hand Transplantation. On 30th October 2021, just before Diwali 2021, his hopes to live an independent and productive life were renewed, when an alert was received from Surat for Hand donation and he underwent bilateral hand transplant at Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai.

Dr. Nilesh Satbhai, who led the team doing both the surgeries, said “Hand Transplants are complex surgeries and the complexities vary with the level of amputation of the recipients. Bilateral Hand Transplant in quadruple amputee (a person without hands and feet) poses some special and difficult challenges. These patients often have a compromised physical capacity and can find it difficult to cope up with the altered body physiology after hand transplants. Our team has been successful in ensuring a smooth postoperative recovery of these patients resulting in a successful outcome. Following the discharge, they will have to undergo an extensive rehabilitation program, where they will be closely monitored with regards to their physiotherapy exercises and medications. They will have to continue the standard hygiene practices for post-transplant care.

Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai also did the first successful Bilateral Hand Transplant in western India in August 2020 on Monika More by a dedicated team led by Dr. Nilesh Satbhai

He further added, “Bilateral hand transplant surgery is a rare and complex procedure categorized as Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA), and it involves connecting the main arteries, bones, multiple veins, nerves, muscles and tendons. Our team coordinated and worked at 4 stations simultaneously in order to prepare both hands of recipient and donor, and then join them accurately and precisely. The awareness about the feasibility of hand transplants is still limited. We have been trying to create awareness on about hand donation for a long time. For someone who does not have hands, this procedure can make a huge difference in their lives.”

Dr. Vivek Talaulikar – CEO, Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, lauded the entire team for taking up challenging procedures. “Our team has been successful in doing complex hand transplant surgeries. With both these patients being discharged, all our patients have had successful outcomes. Mumbai has seen four Hand transplants till date of which three have been done at our hospital. The awareness regarding hand donation is still low with all the three donations from out of city and state making it extremely important for the medical fraternity to come forward to spread awareness and encourage families of deceased patients to agree for hand donation. Hand transplants are often termed as medical miracles and can be transformative for amputees, but the recipients need to ensure that they follow through on the rehabilitation efforts done by the clinical team to gain the functional use of hands back.”