Stories about: hand transplant

Transplant medicine through the years: a brief timeline

NDLM_2014_FacebookProfile11April is National Donate Life month, when people come together to raise awareness about organ donation and encourage others to register themselves as donors.  Donate Life Month is in its 11th year, but organ donation itself dates back much further. In fact, in ancient Greek, Roman and Chinese cultures there are legends of transplants performed by gods and healers, proving that the concept of organ donation is at least thousands of years old. Here’s a quick look at how organ transplantation has progressed over the years:

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Meet the face behind Boston Children’s Hand Transplant Program

Amir Taghinia, MD

As a child, Amir Taghinia, MD, was fascinated by the mechanics behind how things worked.

“I was always taking things apart and trying to fix them,” says Taghinia, surgical director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s newly launched Hand Transplant Program. “I ruined more than one toy truck back in the day, but it never upset me much. For me, the excitement of seeing how the individual parts worked together, and the challenge of trying to re-create it, was more fun than the toy anyway. ”

It’s a fascination that would stay with Taghinia from grade school to medical school, where he focused his studies on plastic surgery, taking specific interest in the hand. With more than 25 bones, 20 tendons, three major nerves and multiple veins and arteries, the human hand is one of the more intricate parts of our anatomy, making it the perfect field of study for Taghinia’s interests.

But Taghinia’s reverence for the hand is more than just an appreciation for its complex makeup and functional use—he views our hands as an extension of our personalities.

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