In 2005, the first hand transplants were performed, and in 2007, the first face transplant was performed. Hands and faces have recently been added to the list of organs that can be successfully transplanted.
These complicated surgeries are technically called vascularized composite allografts (VCAs) because they are surgeries composed of grafting many kinds of tissue: bone, muscle, nerves, skin, and blood vessels. Fewer than 125 hand and face transplants have been performed worldwide. Nevertheless, for the people who now have hands to use or a face to show the world, VCA transplants are transforming lives.
Did you know?
2005—First successful partial face transplant performed in France.
2010—First successful full face transplant conducted at Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Spain.