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Reconstructive transplantation, also known as vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), is the transfer of an external feature or limb from one individual to another. This includes transplanting skin, muscles and tendons, nerves, bone and blood vessels. Reconstructive transplants have been performed on hands, faces, abdominal walls, and other parts of the body.
Currently at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center, we are working specifically with patients in need of hand, arm, and face transplants, giving them new opportunities and hope for the future. We are also studying a protocol that could significantly limit the number of immunosuppressive drugs that transplant patients must take to prevent rejection over the course of their lifetime. For more information on these studies, please click on one of the links below:
#TomorrowsDiscoveries: Toward Less Risky Hand Transplants – Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee
#TomorrowsDiscoveries: While prosthetic limbs have limitations, transplantation can allow patients to resume normal activities. Dr. Lee and his team use a single medication that prevents immune rejection from transplanted tissues to reduce the health risks that come with transplantation.
Effective June 2014, vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) is regulated by The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).