the world's first double-hand transplant has proved a success with a 33-year-old patient, Denis Chatelier, able to move the fingertips of both hands.
Twenty-five days after the operation, Chatelier, from western France, raised both plaster-encased hands and said he was "very, very happy". Still confined to a wheelchair, Chatelier said: "I've now got two real hands. Later, I'll be able to give my kids a cuddle."
Doctors said there was no sign of any rejection of his new hands and the stumps, where the limbs were attached, were healing well. Jean-Michel Dubernard, head of the international surgical team, which conducted the 17-hour ground-beaking operation, said that Chatelier was "in excellent condition".
Chatelier had both hands amputated in 1996 after a home-made rocket exploded as he was playing with his nephews. He was given the hands and a small part of the forearms of a deceased donor.
In September 1998, Dubernard successfully completed the transplant of a hand onto a New Zealand man, Clint Hallam.
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