The first bilateral Cadaveric hand transplantation of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical and Research (Jipmer) has been performed successfully on August 2, 2017. The institute had its first transplant of both the forearms and hands of a 50-year-old brain-dead donor to a 16-year-old bilateral below-elbow amputee.
Appreciating the surgery team S.C. Parija, Director, Jipmer, has said, the milestone procedure for the institution, which was granted licence for reconstructive cadaveric transplants in August 2016, was performed free of cost.
A group of surgeon led by Dr. Dinesh Kumar S, Chief Reconstructive Transplant Surgeon, Department of Plastic Surgery, has performed the 16-hour long surgery.
Rathinambal, the brain-dead donor who readily came forward to donate the organs was also hugely appreciated by the multidisciplinary team. Their noble act has saved the lives of two patients who received her kidneys, restored the vision of two patients who received her cornea, and returning functionality to one patient who received her hands, Dr. Parija said.
Rathinambal, 50, a resident of R C Melakunthai colony, Vikkravandi Post, Villupuram, has received a severe head injury after he fell from a two-wheeler on August 1, 2017. She was treated in Vikkravandi GH and later referred to JIPMER when she lost consciousness. At Jipmer, her condition continued to worsen and subsequent tests confirmed that she had irreversible brain damage and the hopelessness of the situation was conveyed to her daughter Shanthi and her son-in-law T.V. Natarajan. Despite the tragedy, the family came forward to donate the organs of the patient as they felt that it would help others.
According to Jipmer, "in a first, the family agreed to donate both her hands in addition to her internal organs. As it was a medico-legal case, the police station concerned was intimated to conduct an inquest to proceed for organ donation."
Ilancheizhiyan, inspector of police, Vikkravandi police station, came to Jipmer on time and did the inquest and completed other medico-legal formalities, thus facilitating the organ donation process.
The long complicated procedure is all about detaching both the forearms and hands of the donor and reattaching them in a specific sequence to the adequately prepared amputated stump of the recipient.
JIPMER has prepared a strong medical team along with plastic surgeons, transplant coordinator, transplant anesthesia, orthopedic surgeons and 10 OT nurses. The rehabilitation team provided a pair of prosthesis for the living cadaver donor and will be providing vital follow-up to the hand transplant recipient.