Hand transplantation: Current status

Michael R. Hausman, John Masters, Albert Panozzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The hand is a very special organ, with unique functions and versatility in the human body. Our hands are pivotal in manipulating our environment, receiving feedback from our surroundings and communicating our unspoken words by gestures. Thus, the loss of a hand is a tragic, disfiguring event with profound personal, vocational, financial and social implications. Transplantation of life-saving solid organs is now widely accepted in both the medical and lay communities. The technical skills and prerequisites for hand transplantation have been honed over recent decades, culminating in the recent commencement of hand transplantation in several centers around the world. However, unlike life-saving solid organ transplantation, hand transplantation has been greeted with less enthusiasm in the professional community because it is not yet clear what the long-term risks-to-benefits ratio is. The scientific background, and the potential risks, benefits, and ethical aspects of this procedure are discussed. Successful transplantation to amputees of fully integrated and functional hands is a worthy goal. Hopefully, at some point in the future, hand transplantation will become another safe and viable option for amputees to consider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalMount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethics
  • Hand
  • Hand transplant
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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