Following a complicated eight hour operation using a donor limb and matching tissue, the first successful hand transplant was completed in the UK on December 27, 2012.
The recipient was a 51-year-old man named Mark Cahill, a pub landlord from Halifax. His right hand became unusable after it was infected with gout. A surgical group at Leeds General Infirmary was led by Professor Simon Kay. The team removed Cahill’s hand at the same time as they replaced it with the donor hand. This is the first time this method has been used, permitting precise restoration of nerve structures.