WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A patient’s rare reaction to surgery had her doctors amazed.
- The patient from India had her hand amputated and underwent a successful hand transplant.
- The transplanted hand suddenly adapted to the patient’s physiological traits.
Twenty-one-year-old Shreya Siddanagowda, a student from Pune, India, got into a bus accident in 2016 which forced doctors to amputate her two hands.
In 2017, she decided to have a transplant.
Though it is virtually difficult to get hand donations, Siddanagowda still managed to receive a match just an hour after she registered at the hospital.
One reason for the difficulty in getting this body part is because the recipient and donor should both have the same blood type, regardless of the gender. Adding to that is the fact that there had only been about 200 hand transplants performed worldwide.
The donated hand was from a student in India as well, named Sachin. He had a bike accident the day Siddanagowda applied for the transplant. Sachin was then declared brain dead.
The doctors did not know what to expect in this situation, as Siddanagowda’s case would only be the second intergender hand transplant to be done at the time. Furthermore, Siddanagowda’s skin tone is much lighter than Sachin.
Twenty surgeons, along with 6 anesthetists did Siddanagowda’s surgery, which lasted for 13 hours.
The procedure is to attach Sachin’s hand to Siddanagowda, first by the bone, then arteries, and veins afterwards. Eventually, the tendon muscles are attached, and then they would stitch the skin up to Siddanagowda’s upper arms.
After the successful surgery, Siddanagowda had to stay in the hospital for one year and six months.
Since the muscles of Sachin’s hand are still adapting to its new host, and a female body at that, the doctors expected Siddanagowda’s extra weight from wearing a man’s arms to be dissolved – which they first noticed to happen.
After a while, Siddanagowda’s mom observed that Siddanagowda’s fingers were getting small like it’s turning into a female’s fingers.
In an interview with Indian Express, she said, “I see her hand every day. The fingers have become like a woman’s, the wrist is smaller. These are remarkable changes.”
Afterwards, the skin began to lighten just like Siddanagowda’s skin tone.
Siddanagowda said that “I don’t know how the transformation occurred. But it feels like my own hands now. The skin color was very dark after the transplant, not that it was ever my concern, but now it matches my tone.”
This is possible according to the doctors, but they have never experienced this in previous cases.
Head of Dermatology at Mumbai’s KEM Hospital, Dr. Uday Khopkar said that “a hand transplant is rare, and such color transformation is rarer. We cannot comment until proper research is conducted.”