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How is hand transplantation different from other transplant procedures?

Hand transplantation differs significantly from other transplant procedures because, unlike a heart or liver, for example, a hand is made up of different kinds of tissues -- bone, nerve, tendon, muscle, skin and blood vessels -- and each has its own characteristics for healing and regeneration. And unlike other types of transplantation, a hand transplant is not lifesaving. Many people who have lost a limb are able to get along fine with a prosthetic hand. But others find that a prosthetic limb is too uncomfortable or cumbersome. However, potential patients must be fully informed and aware of the complications of lifelong immunosuppression and have to weigh these risks against their perception of how a new hand will enhance their life.

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