Scotsman Steven Gallagher, who suffers from a rare disease called scleroderma, received a double hand transplant. In addition to indicating a significant advance in the field of transplantation, the procedure opens the way for the emergence of a new area of intervention for people with this condition.
team of Leeds Teaching Hospitalsfrom the United Kingdom, removed the patient’s hands for a deceased donor, with very limited range of motion.
This is the first time the technique has been used to transform hands affected by scleroderma. The autoimmune disease attacks tissue, causing scarring on the skin and internal organs. In Gallagher’s case, the hands were severely affected and the fingers were completely closed in the closed position.
The 48-year-old patient claims that the transplant performed earlier this year changed his life.
“I have a lot more movement now than before. sI have a share in that hand. It’s like they’ve been fixed. Now, about five months after my transplant, I can even move my fingers, thumb and wrist,” Steven said in a press release from Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
The problem disrupted daily life for at least seven years, when the hands began to close and the fingers were flexed, causing only movement of the thumb. He said he had tried several treatments before the operation with no success and was forced to stop working.
Fortunately, Steven was present at a lecture in which plastic surgeon Francesco Del Galdo mentioned that implants were an option for patients suffering from scleroderma. After the lecture, the man contacted the doctor’s team to see if anything could be done to restore his hands.
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