Leeds surgeons to carry out pioneering double hand transplant

Professor Simon Kay (left) and Mark Cahill (right) of Halifax who was become the first person in the UK to have a hand transplant. PIC: PA
Professor Simon Kay (left) and Mark Cahill (right) of Halifax who was become the first person in the UK to have a hand transplant. PIC: PA
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SURGEONS in Leeds are to undertake the first double hand transplant in the UK in a pioneering 15-hour operation.

Professor Simon Kay and his surgical team at Leeds General Infirmary are making preparations for the double transplant on amputee Corinne Hutton, from Renrewshire in Scotland. After a rigorous and lengthy assessment process, amputee Corinne, has been identified as a suitable recipient by the same team who undertook the UK’s first hand transplant eighteen months ago on West Yorkshire man Mark Cahill.

Corinne had both her hands and feet amputated last year following a Streptococcus A infection, which caused pneumonia and sepsis. She will be the first to have both hands replaced.

The surgical team in Leeds will work closely with colleagues at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, who were responsible for removing Corinne’s hands, and will manage some of her rehabilitation post-transplant.

Pro Simon Kay, consultant plastic surgeon, said: “I think the result will be exceptional. I would expect she’ll get very good function very quickly, and partly this is a tribute to the team in Glasgow who removed Corinne’s hands in a way that would facilitate transplantation later.”

It was Prof Kay and his team that undertook the UK’s first hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary in December 2012 in a complex 8-hour operation. The recipient, Mr Cahill, of Halifax, who previously had a non-functioning right hand, is making good progress.

“This operation from a technical point of view is much more complex,” said Prof Kay. “In Mark’s case we had to replace three nerves, whereas in Corinne’s case it’ll be more like 10, plus all the tendons need to be repaired individually. So from a technical point of view it’s much more complex, but the concept is the same.”

The team at LGI have some of the world’s greatest expertise in microvascular surgery with vast experience of microsurgical reconstruction of the upper limb.

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