In a First, Sir Ganga Ram pulls off Bilateral Hands Transplant

New Delhi: In a first in Delhi, Sir Ganga Ram hospital successfully undertook bilateral hand transplant. SGRH also happens to be the first hospital in North India to receive permission for hand transplant. A 45 year old man Raj Kumar from Nangloi lost both his hands in a train accident. But now, as he will be discharged any time soon, he has both hands again to earn two meals a day for his family, thanks to hands donation and transplant. It is quite an achievement for the plastic surgery department of SGRH.

In an unexpected turn of fate, Mr. Raj Kumar found himself at the crossroads of despair and hope after a tragic train accident. On Oct 2020, Raj Kumar who was a painter by profession, decided to cross the train tracks of Nangloi on his bicycle. On his venture to cross the tracks, he lost control over his bicycle and took a fall & was run over by the train losing both his upper limbs. Patient was shifted to Safdarjung hospital for further management.

Raj Kumar, belonging to economically weaker section of society became dependent on others for all his day to day activities. His only options were either the use of prosthetics or hand transplant. He began using the prosthetics but his prosthetic trail was unsuccessful and now his only way of hope was hand transplant. But, at that time no centre in north India was having permission to perform hand transplant.

In Feb 2023, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi became the first hospital in north India to receive permission to perform hand transplant. When we were looking for potential candidates for hand transplant, Mr. Raj Kumar was on our waiting list.

As per transplant protocols, detailed examination and necessary investigations were done. In 3rd week of January, a glimmer of optimism emerged for Raj Kumar when he got a call from the hospital. Donor, Mrs. Meena Mehta, a retired Vice principal of New Greenfield School, Kalkaji, New Delhi. Mrs. Mehta, in her foresight and altruism, and her family members had expressed a wish to donate her organs after her passing.

On 19 th January, Mrs. Mehta was declared brain dead and after cross matching, Raj Kumar was taken in OT and both the arms were prepared and all the structures were identified and tagged. Meanwhile, donor was taken in another OT where both her upper limbs along with other organs were procured.

The team of Doctors who undertook this surgery included Dr Mahesh Mangal (Chairman, plastic surgery), Dr S.S. Gambhir (Sr. Consultant), Dr Anubhav Gupta (Sr. Consultant), Dr Bheem Nanda (Sr. Consultant), Dr Nikhil Jhunjhunwala, Hand and Microsurgery (Consultant), Anaesthesia team led by Dr Jayashree Sood ; Dr Anil Jain. Dr Brajesh Nandan (Sr. Consultant, orthopaedic), Dr Manish Malik (Sr. Consultant, Nephrology), Dr. Pallav Gupta (Sr. Consultant, pathology), Dr Gourav, Dr Subhash and all the DNB residents of Department of Plastic surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The surgical process, a first of its kind in Delhi, was nothing short of extraordinary. A dedicated team of surgeons collaborated tirelessly to execute this intricate procedure, delicately reattaching various components, including bones, arteries, veins, tendons, muscles, nerves, and skin. Precision and expertise were the key, ensuring the seamless integration of the transplanted hands into Raj Kumar’s body. For Raj Kumar, this operation signified more than just the physical restoration of his limbs; it heralded a new chapter of possibilities, resilience and a future filled with renewed hope.

Now, after six weeks, Raj Kumar is all set to get discharged from the hospital with his new pair of hands with no signs of infection or rejection. The introduction of Bilateral Hand Transplant in Delhi opens up new avenues for individuals to reclaim not just their physical capabilities but also regain a sense of normalcy and independence in their daily lives emphasizing the transformative impact such surgeries can have on the lives of individuals who have endured the psychological and physical burdens of arm loss.

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