Leeds Teaching Hospitals makes history with first double hand transplant in female patient

Surgeons at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have made history by performing the UK’s first double hand transplant in a female patient in the UK.

In September, Tania Jackson received a double transplant and – in another UK first – patient John-Paul McGrail also received a transplant. This was the first time two patients have undergone this kind of surgery at the unit within a week of one another. Two of the transplants were at a level above the elbow whilst the third was at the wrist level.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals is the only hospital in the UK offering hand transplantation and has now completed the complex surgeries on five patients since the first patient in 2012.

Professor Simon Kay who heads the team paid particular tribute to the large and very professional team required for these operations and to the families who gift their loved one’s organs that others might benefit. He said, “These latest transplants establish the service as mature and the surgery as becoming routine. They demonstrate the great versatility of the transplantation technique which restores important human attributes and functions to those who have lost their upper limbs.”

Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Julian Hartley said, “We are delighted that both patients have made such a fantastic start to their recovery and we wish them the very best for their recovery. The work of our hand transplant team is truly groundbreaking and has transformed the lives of patients; helping them regain their independence and take on the everyday tasks that many of us take for granted.”