Surgeons at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, US, have successfully performed a hand transplant on a 21-year-old female patient.
The 19-hour surgery involved several teams of surgeons, anaesthesiologists, nurses and operating room support staff.
The surgery involved the connection of numerous structures including bones, tendons, nerves, vessels and skin.
The patient, college student Linda Lu from Orlando, Florida, was placed in a protective splint for 48 hours. She is now wearing a high-tech brace that supports the limb and will begin rehabilitation at the hospital.
US Senator Saxby Chambliss said that the surgery would benefit many people, including members of US military who have suffered from injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“I am proud and grateful for the dedicated leadership, physicians and researchers at Emory who made this extraordinary breakthrough possible,” Chambliss said.