Hand transplant program to launch at University of Michigan Health System

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By: Associated Press

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan Health System has launched a hand transplant program that it says is the first in the state.

The health system announced Tuesday it’s actively seeking adult candidates for the surgery.

Hand transplantation is part of the University of Michigan Transplant Center’s new “vascular composite allograft” program, which it says refers to transplants involving several different kinds of vascularized tissue such as skin, muscle and bone.

The health system plans a hand transplant first, but notes the field of transplantation also includes face, abdominal wall and other types of transplants. Doctors say hand transplantation can be an option for patients with amputations or injuries of the arm or hand.

Hand transplants have been performed in other parts of the U.S. and elsewhere.