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Reaching New Heights: A Comprehensive Study of Hand Transplantations in Korea after Institutionalization of Hand Transplantation Law

 Yo Han Kim  ;  Yun Rak Choi  ;  Dong Jin Joo  ;  Woo Yeol Baek  ;  Young Chul Suh  ;  Won Taek Oh  ;  Jae Yong Cho  ;  Sang Chul Lee  ;  Sang Kyum Kim  ;  Hyang Joo Ryu  ;  Kyung Ock Jeon  ;  Won Jai Lee  ;  Jong Won Hong 
 YONSEI MEDICAL JOURNAL, Vol.65(2) : 108-119, 2024-02 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Graft Rejection ; Hand Transplantation* / adverse effects ; Hand Transplantation* / methods ; Humans ; Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use ; Institutionalization ; Republic of Korea ; Transplantation, Homologous / adverse effects
Hand transplantation ; Republic of Korea ; transplantation law ; vascularized composite allotransplantation
Purpose: With the revision of the Organ and Transplantation Act in 2018, the hand has become legal as an area of transplantable organs in Korea. In January 2021, the first hand allotransplantation since legalization was successfully performed, and we have per formed a total of three successful hand transplantation since then. By comparing and incorporating our experiences, this study aimed to provide a comprehensive reconstructive solution for hand amputation in Korea.

Materials and Methods: Recipients were selected through a structured preoperative evaluation, and hand transplantations were performed at the distal forearm level. Postoperatively, patients were treated with three-drug immunosuppressive regimen, and func tional outcomes were monitored.

Results: The hand transplantations were performed without intraoperative complications. All patients had partial skin necrosis and underwent additional surgical procedures in 2 months after transplantation. After additional operations, no further severe complications were observed. Also, patients developed acute rejection within 3 months of surgery, but all resolved within 2 weeks after steroid pulse therapy. Motor and sensory function improved dramatically, and patients were very satisfied with the appear ance and function of their transplanted hands.

Conclusion: Hand transplantation is a viable reconstructive option, and patients have shown positive functional and psychologi cal outcomes. Although this study has limitations, such as the small number of patients and short follow-up period, we should fo cus on continued recovery of hand function, and be careful not to develop side effects from immunosuppressive drugs. Through the present study, we will continue to strive for a bright future regarding hand transplantation in Korea.
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Appears in Collections:
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery (정형외과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Pathology (병리학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (성형외과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine (재활의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Surgery (외과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Sang Kyum(김상겸) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0768-9923
Kim, Yo-Han(김요한)
Ryu, Hyang-Joo(류향주)
Baek, Wooyeol(백우열) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6638-4110
Suh, Young Chul(서영철)
Oh, Won Taek(오원택) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1815-0851
Lee, Sang Chul(이상철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6241-7392
Lee, Won Jai(이원재) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3056-0503
Cho, Jae-Yong(조재용)
Joo, Dong Jin(주동진) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8405-1531
Choi, Yun Rak(최윤락)
Hong, Jong Won(홍종원) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7762-0940
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