The Fascinating Changes in a Woman Who Underwent a Double Hand Transplant
Wed, April 21, 2021

The Fascinating Changes in a Woman Who Underwent a Double Hand Transplant


In 2016, 21-year-old Shreya Siddanagowda lost both of her hands in a road accident traveling from her hometown in Pune to her college in Karnataka. The doctors decided to amputate both her hands and forearms. Luckily, out of almost 200 people on the waiting list, the hospital staff was able to find a donor for her. “The transplant coordinator said it could take months for a donor to come. We returned to our hotel without any hope. An hour later, the hospital called us back for urgent blood tests,” Siddanagowda said. 


Credits: All That’s Interesting


The donor was Sachin, a 20-year-old male college student, who had been involved in a fatal bike accident and was declared brain dead. His family agreed to donate his hands. The transplant was carried out on August 9, 2017, which lasted 13 hours and involved 20 surgeons and an anesthesia team of 16. This procedure became Asia’s first inter-gender hand transplant. The surgeons attached the bones first, then the arteries, veins, and muscle tendons, before finally stitching the skin on the donor’s hands to that of Siddanagowda’s hands. 


Credits: All That’s Interesting


The procedure was a success but after a year of recovering, Siddanagowda’s parents started to notice some changes in her transplanted hands. According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, the skin color of her hand transplants was originally a few shades darker than her natural skin tone. But, the hands have become lighter now. 

“I don’t know how the transformation occurred. But it feels like my own hands now. The skin color was very dark after the transplant, not that it was ever my concern, but now it matches my tone,” she said.


Credits: New Indian Express


The doctors theorized that the reason lies behind her body’s melanin cells, which function to produce a person’s natural skin tone. “In a year or so, the lymphatic channel between the donor’s hand and the host’s body opens up completely to allow the flow of fluids. It is possible the melanin-producing cells slowly replaced the donor’s cells. And that led to the change,” Mohit Sharma, who was part of the team that worked on Siddanagowda’s transplant surgery, explained. 




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