In a nearly 18-hour surgery at a Louisville hospital, doctors claim to have successfully done a rare double hand transplant on a burn victim on Wednesday.
Also having the credit of conducting the world's first successful single hand transplant in 1999, this latest double hand surgery at Jewish Hospital is only the third in the country.
Updates regarding the surgery were posted on Twitter by a doctor waiting outside the operation theatre, who said the transplant began at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and only got over 17.5 hours later on Wednesday.
Surgeons are now preparing the arteries, which will be the most important part of the surgery, the doctor tweeted at 3 a.m. Wednesday.
Dr. Joseph Kutz, a member of the surgery team, said: “We have a long way to go to know... but it looks good at this point". The identity of the patient, however, was not revealed.
Divulging further about the operation, lead surgeon Dr. Warren Breidenbach said some of the patient's existing nerves were put into hands from a donor, the act, thus, enabling the patient more sensation as compared to earlier transplant patients who had lost their hands.
Notably, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center had performed the earlier two double hand transplants in the U.S. even though several others similar surgeries have been performed elsewhere.