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  • Dream Come True: 18-Year-Old with Birth Defect Becomes the First Indian to Undergo Successful Unilateral Hand Transplant at Global Hospitals, Parel

    Published on February 3, 2023

    Mumbai: After 13 hours of surgery, a team of doctors led by Dr Nilesh Satbhai, Sr. Consultant Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgeon, and the young teenachieved a rare feat and earned a place in medical history. Global Hospitals, Parel performed a successful unilateral hand transplant procedure on the first Indian teen with a birth defect (congenital hand aplasia). The patient was able to get a new hand after 18 years of life.

    Samiya Mansuri, an 18-year-old from Bharuch, Gujarat, was born with a congenital deformity on her right hand. Her forearm and hand were severely under-developed. The family ran from pillar to post to make sure that Samiya gets a good hand prosthesis, but nothing seemed to work in their favour. They visited many cities including Jaipur looking for hand prosthesis. Soon they realized that a hand prosthesis will never be able to give her a functional hand. The family then consulted Dr. Satbhai at Global Hospital seeking a hand transplant. After multiple sessions of counselling, Dr. Satbhai and his team agreed to plan for a transplant for Samiya. They decided to wait till she turned 18 and became eligible to give consent for the surgery. On turning 18, on January 10, Samiya was physiologically and legally eligible to register for a hand transplant, and her joy knew no bounds. Miraculously,

    a 52-year-old woman’s family from Indore generously donated an arm that could be used for Samiya. The teen was rushed to Global Hospital without any further delay.

    Dr Nilesh Satbhai, Sr. Consultant Plastic, Hand & Reconstructive Microsurgeon, Global Hospitals, Parel said, “This transplant was done for the congenital absence of hand. The medical literature does not have any reports about hand transplants for congenital absence of hand. To understand the complexity of the surgery, and to give valid consent for surgery, the patient has to be at least 18 years old. Samiya’s family had first consulted me more than 2 years back. She was firm and motivated to undergo the transplant, after knowing all the treatment complexity. We registered her for the transplant on her 18th birthday.”

    Dr Satbhai added, “Samiya’s hand was not completely developed. Her forearm, wrist, and hand were severely deficient. She had very small finger nubbins. Owing to the deformity, in her right hand, all the blood vessels, muscles, bones, and nerves were smaller than usual. Hence the surgical plan was much different and complex as compared to transplants after accidental amputations. We preserved all the available functions of the elbow but repaired the blood vessels and nerves above the elbow level to match their size. The rehabilitation programme has started and will progress as the nerve recovery happens. She would need around 9-12 months to have a fully functional hand. Samiya is getting discharged today and all medical and post-op care has been explained to the patient and her parents.”

    “Samiya struggled all these years to do even the basic things like writing. But, she managed to do things on her own. It was painful for Samiya as people would literally point out at her hand and make faces. She felt embarrassed as her fingers were tiny when compared to others. She always imagined herself with 2 normal hands and doing everything that others do.  We read about Monika More who was the first in Mumbai to undergo a hand transplant at Global Hospitals. We even planned to visit the hospital but couldn’t do so due to the Covid pandemic. 6 months ago, on visiting the hospital, we were told to wait till Samiya turns 18 for her to be eligible to undergo a transplant. So, on her 18th birthday, we registered her for a hand transplant. She kept smiling while entering the operation theatre as her dream of having two normal was going to turn into reality. Her brother has his class X exams but I have decided to stay with Samiya as she needs me in the hospital. We thank the donor family as the hand transplant wouldn’t have been possible without them. We are grateful and congratulate the doctors from Global Hospital for achieving this milestone,” said the teen’s mother Shenaz Mansuri.

    “Cases of hand transplants need meticulousness and proficiency. We feel proud, honoured, and elated to record this landmark unilateral hand transplant. The 18-year-old teen with a birth defect has certainly got a second lease of life now. At Global Hospitals, we have a multi-disciplinary team of doctors who strive for giving excellent patient treatment and care. This surgery is a ray of hope for people with birth defects and waiting for a hand transplant. Samiya’s inspiring story will encourage donors to donate hands to the recipients and change their lives for the better.” concluded Dr Vivek Talaulikar, Chief Executive Officer, Global Hospital, Mumbai.


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