Emory's First Hand Transplant
In a first for Emory, Linda Lu, a 21-year-old college student from Orlando, received a new hand in a 19-hour procedure in April 2011.
Transplant and reconstructive surgeons from Emory University Hospital announced today at a news conference that they have successfully performed a rare complete hand transplant on 21-year-old Linda Lu, a college student from Orlando, Fla. This is a first for the Atlanta hospital.
The 19-hour surgery took place on Saturday, March 12 and involved multiple teams of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and operating room support staff. Two teams -- one dedicated to the patient -- and the other to the donor arm -- successfully completed the surgery at approximately midnight.
The intricate surgery involved the connection of numerous structures including bones, tendons, nerves, vessels and finally the skin. The patient was placed in a protective splint for 48 hours and is now wearing a high-tech brace that supports the limb while she begins the long process to gain function of her new hand.