Surgeons from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine have completed the world's first double hand transplant on an 8-year-old child.
Surgeons from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Penn Medicine have completed the world’s first double hand transplant on an 8-year-old child.
The surgical team successfully transplanted donor hands and forearms onto Zion Harvey, who had undergone amputation of his hands and feet and a kidney transplant following a serious infection.
Led by L. Scott Levin from Penn Medicine, a 40-member multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses and other staff from plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopaedic surgery, anesthesiology, and radiology, participated in the 10-hour surgical transplantation the operation.
Double hand transplantation is a complex procedure which involves many surgical and non-surgical components.
Harvey, a bright, happy and an outgoing child who told his doctors that he couldn’t wait to throw a football someday, has adapted well to life without hands, learning to eat, write and even play video games.
Abraham Shaked of the Penn Transplant Institute said that they have learned the importance of closely monitoring and managing the activity of the immune system through years of experience, and were hopeful that Zion would now enjoy excellent long-term allograft function and a normal life.
The boy will spend several more weeks in the hospital’s rehabilitation unit before being discharged to his home in Baltimore.