Find Us


World's first successful double hand transplant for scleroderma performed in UK

Double hand transplant
Double hand transplant Copyright Euronews and AP
Copyright Euronews and AP
By Tokunbo Salako with AP
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

Five months on, the patient is hoping to get back to work after 13 years with the debilitating condition.


Doctors in the UK have become the first to successfully perform a double hand transplant on a patient who suffered from the autoimmune disease scleroderma.

After a 12-hour operation overseen by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, roof tiler Steven Gallagher, 48, from Ayrshire in southwest Scotland, is now pain free.

Double hand transplants are very complex but becoming more commonplace. This was the first time the surgery was performed to treat scleroderma, a painful condition affecting the nose, mouth and fingers.

Gallagher suffered from the disease for 13 years. Five months on from the operation, thanks to regular physiotherapy and monitoring, his condition has improved so much he is now hoping to return to work.

The trust's Professor Simon Kay at Leeds General Infirmary told Euronews: “The surgery is very complex and very long. But we have done quite a lot of these now. It is a well-orchestrated operation involving a very large team. I lead the team but it is a team of experts. They work very well together."

He added: "I think you can appreciate the complexity, beginning with an operation on each hand, and an operation on each of the donor’s hands, which means four separate surgical teams."

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Zion Harvey, 8, becomes youngest ever to receive double hand transplant

India carries out its first double hand transplant

Nigel Farage’s populist Reform Party overtakes Conservatives, polls show