The Physical and Psychosocial Benefits of Upper-Limb Transplantation: A Case Series of 5 Polish Patients
Adam Chełmoński, Katarzyna Kowal, Jerzy Jabłecki
(Subdepartment of Replantation of Limbs, Department of Surgery, St. Hedwig's Hospital in Trzebnica, Trzebnica, Poland)
Ann Transplant 2015; 20:639-648
Although upper-limb transplantation is not a life-saving procedure, every year more and more patients are ready to undergo this surgery. Conventional methods of treatment performed earlier have not brought the expected functional and aesthetic results. Patients who have received upper-limb transplantation (HTx) enjoy, in addition to the physical benefits associated with good functional effect, numerous benefits of a psychological and social nature. Investigation of these benefits was the aim of this interdisciplinary research.
CASE REPORT: The wide spectrum of physical, psychological, and social benefits derived by recipients of limb transplantation include: improved physical fitness, recovery of the complete body form, corporeal well-being, enhanced self-esteem, recovery of self-confidence, a stable feeling of personal and social identity, higher integration of the body with performed social roles, greater confidence in the ability to act and have control over life, a feeling of greater security, the ability to return to work, restoration of social position, and positive personality changes.
CONCLUSIONS: Potential benefits which may be derived by future upper limb recipients are manifested in the good functional effect of the transplantation, enhanced life satisfaction, and better functioning in society. It does not mean, however, restoration of 100% of fitness or absolutely problem-free functioning in everyday life, which is extremely important in the context of prevention of possible disappointment to future limb recipients.
Keywords: Hand Transplantation, Patient Satisfaction, Quality of Life, Transplantation, Upper Extremity