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Hand Transplant Appears Successful After a Year

August 17, 2000

More than a year after the world's second transplant of a hand, the patient's new hand can sense temperature, pressure and pain, and he can use it to write, turn the pages of a newspaper, throw a baseball and tie shoelaces, according to a report in today's New England Journal of Medicine. The operation was performed Jan. 24, 1999, at the Jewish Hospital of Louisville in Kentucky on a 38-year-old man who received a left hand from a 58-year-old male cadaver.

In their report on a one-year followup of the surgery, a team led by Dr. Jon Jones said the results "show that early success at hand transplantation can be achieved with the use of currently available immunosuppressive drugs," which prevent the body from rejecting the new appendage.

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