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Worldwide, there have been about 32 other patients, and 40 hands transplanted.
UPMC has two people on its hand transplant waiting list, Rose said. One is a man waiting for a double hand transplant.
Finding donors -- from cadavers -- is challenging, Rose said. Besides matching tissue and blood type, the gender, size and skin tone also must match.
Surgery can last eight to 10 hours as doctors attach two major arteries, veins and repair multiple tendons and nerves.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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