A team of surgeons from the University Hospital in Wroclaw, under the direction of Dr. Adam Domanasiewicz, have successfully performed the world’s first hand transplant on an adult patient, who was born without that part of the body.

ground breaking hand transplant - Piotr happy with his new limb

It’s going to be a very merry Christmas for Piotr

The procedure was carried out on December 15th, and it seems the hand will not be rejected by the body. The patient can already move his fingers.

If everything comes to the expected happy ending, and by all appearances it will, we’re going down in the history of medicine – says Dr. Domanasiewicz.

The patient, who has undergone the transplant, 32-year-old Piotr from Zamość, got under the care of the doctors from Wroclaw after seeing the TVN’s “Fakty” (evening news) material about the University Hospital looking for people willing to take part in the transplant project.

This material made me realise that such things are possible in Poland – he explains.

As Piotr says, he tried to lead a life without limits: he got a driving licence, he regularly went to the gym. But he still dreams of one thing…

…I would just like to normally hug my family, with both hands.

The most difficult part of the surgery was the fusion of the arteries which differed in diameter in the recipient’s arm and the donor’s hand. In Piotr’s case the connection of the nerves and arteries was possible only in the vicinity of his arm instead of his wrist. The reason why it was difficult to connect the structures was because Piotr’s hand had never developed, and some tissues were atrophic.

I think that we would have been irresponsible if we had performed this surgery leaving room for surprise – said Dr. Domanasiewicz at a press conference – We tried to anticipate all the outcomes. We had a plan A, plan B and plan C – he emphasised.

The doctors did a great job, now the task is before me – says Piotr – It turns out that when the New Year comes, after all the rehabilitation after the transplant, I begin a new life.

This new stage is possible for Piotr not only thanks to the work of the doctors, but also the deceased donor, who left not only his hand, but also his heart, liver and kidneys.


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