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Journal of the Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand 2012;17(2):89-97.
Published online June 1, 2012.
Limb Transplantation: Indications and Recent Results
Gi Jun Lee
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, MS Jaegeon Hospital, Daegu, Korea. leegjos@paran.com
Hand is very important for daily living so most activities is impossible in bilateral amputation of the hand. Hand allotransplantation which was performed firstly in 1998 was epochal method for reconstruction of amputated hand to nearly normal hand. According to long term follow-up beyond 12 years, functional recovery of transplanted hand was inspiring and it was equal or even better than the result of replantation. The satisfactory results of transplantation spread it to worldwide and expand the consensus about the allotransplantation. But immunosuppressive therapy which followed consequently by transplantation induced many complications including infections, metabolic disease and cancer. Transplantation enhanced the quality of life but side effects of immunosuppressant threatened the life itself. So debate is ongoing about the ethical justification and indications of transplantation. This article reviews the recent results of hand transplantation and complications of immunosuppressive therapy.
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