In 2016 a young Indian woman named Shreya Siddanagowder lost both her hands in a horrific bus accident, resulting in her receiving a double hand transplant from a gentleman who died in a motorcycle accident.
Her 13 hour surgery was a success thanks to a team of 20 surgeons and 16 anaesthesiologists. While a successful double hand transplant is a medical feat in itself, what happened in following years after the surgery is what truly baffled doctors.
As mentioned, her donor was a 21-year-old male who passed away in a motorcycle accident. This means her ‘new hands’ clearly resembled that of a male, in the sense that they were much larger and darker than her original hands.
Over the next year and a half, Siddanagowder received countless hours of physical therapy which vastly improved her motor control in her arms and hands. This resulted in her limbs gradually becoming leaner than they were at the time of the transplant, which is to be expected when going through physical therapy.
There were, however, a few other changes that doctors certainly didn’t expect to happen. The skin of her new hands became lighter in colour, so that it more closely matched Siddanagowder’s natural skin tone.
“I don’t know how the transformation occurred. But it feels like my own hands now. The skin colour was very dark after the transplant, not that it was ever my concern, but now it matches my tone,” says 21-year-old Siddanagowder in an interview with the Indian Express.
Doctors theorise that the drastic changing in colour is due to her body naturally producing less melanin than her donor’s, although more research will need to be conducted to confirm this theory.
According to doctor Dr. Mohit Sharma, one of the surgeons that worked on the transplant, “There was one female-to-male hand transplant in the West. But there has been no scientific research into what happens after that. In a year or so, the lymphatic channel between the donor’s hand and the host’s body opens up completely to allow flow of fluids. It is possible the melanin-producing cells slowly replaced the donor’s cells. And that led to the change.”
In a video posted to her Facebook page, you can see Siddanagowder roll up her left sleeve to show where the transplanted forearm joined her arm, noting that its formerly darker colour had lightened since she received the transplant.
Shreya Siddanagowder is Asia's first upper arm double hand transplant recipient . She is also the first to receive male hands. The complex surgery was performed by a team of Doctors led by Dr. Subramania Iyer (Head, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences Kochi.One can tell after interacting with her, that she is determined to live life to the fullest and spread awareness on hand transplantation along with her amazing parents who have been her constant support through her entire journey so far.
Gepostet von MOHAN Foundation am Sonntag, 23. Juni 2019