LOS ANGELES, March 7 (UPI) -- A team of 17 surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and technicians in Los Angeles performed a transplant years after a woman lost her hand, officials said.
Surgeons at Ronald Reagan University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, said the operation began with two surgical teams working simultaneously to prepare the donor graft and the recipient. Four-and-a-half hours after the operation began, the donor limb was joined to the recipient and the operation was completed 14-and-a-half hours later, the surgeons said.
The hand transplant was performed on a 26-year-old mother from California who lost her right hand in a traffic accident nearly five years ago.
The patient was brought back to her room at the end of surgery Saturday and she will remain at the medical center to begin extensive physical rehabilitation and a regimen of immuno-suppressant medication to help prevent her body from rejecting the new appendage, hospital officials said Monday.
"I am ecstatic with the results -- a little tired, but ecstatic," lead surgeon Dr. Kodi Azari, surgical director of the UCLA Hand Transplant Program and associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a statement.
"Everything went well. The size, color and hair pattern match between the donor and recipient is nearly identical. We are so proud to have been able to give our patient the gift of a new hand."