Possible Hand Transplant Complications

The most common complication following hand transplant surgery is rejection, and to date, it has been reversible in most patients. It happens when the immune system, which defends the body against foreign agents such as viruses or bacteria, treats the transplanted hand as foreign and tries to attack it. To prevent your body from rejecting your new hand, you will take medications called immunosuppressants which lower your immunity or defense against foreign agents. These medications, when taken on time and as prescribed, reduce the risk of severe rejection. You will take these medications for as long as you have your transplant.

As a hand transplant recipient, you will also be more susceptible to infection because you will take immunosuppressant medications to help prevent rejection. The risk of infection from bacteria, viruses, and fungi are greatest in the early period after transplant when dosages of medicines are at their highest. This risk of infections decreases as post-transplant medications are adjusted over time.