After Your Hand Transplant
Preventing Organ Rejection
Although organ rejection happens after transplants, we use innovative strategies and research to prevent rejection and injury. We provide you and your caregivers resources and support to help you live a healthy life after transplantation. Our team is always available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
Our rehabilitation therapy specialists start working with you almost immediately after your surgery and will continue to provide intensive therapy designed to maximize the functional outcome of your new hand or hands. We help you adapt to the feeling and function of your new hand or hands and teach you to use them for everyday activities. You will wear different splints or braces for at least one year to protect your new hand while you are undergoing therapy.
You and your loved ones will be able to speak with other transplant recipients and their families, ask questions, and share information about issues related to the transplant experience.
Hand Transplantation Expertise
Leader in Vascularized Allotransplantation (VCA)
Duke’s hand transplant program is headed by one of the world’s leaders in vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), an innovative method of transplanting multiple tissues -- such as those of a hand -- as a functional unit. Our hand transplant surgeon is trained in microsurgery, hand surgery, and transplant surgery and participated in the establishment of the first hand transplant program in the U.S. Our lead surgeon also participates in the development of guidelines for the safe implementation of VCA in the U.S.
Active Research Team
Our hand transplantation team conducts research that is helping doctors understand how to minimize rejection, develop new immunosuppressive therapy approaches, and diagnose skin rejection and other tissues' responses following a transplant. Our basic, clinical, and translational (meaning how we apply our lab research to patient care) research guides our systematic approach to hand transplantation.