Hand transplant eligibility

People who are in overall good health and who have had one or both hands amputated at the elbow or below, or who have lost one or both hands due to trauma, may be eligible for a hand transplant.

Your transplant team will evaluate you to determine whether a hand transplant may be an option for you. To evaluate you, doctors may:

  • Perform a physical examination
  • Assess your nerve function
  • Conduct blood tests and other tests
  • Perform tests to ensure you don't have any other serious medical conditions, including infections, cancer, diabetes, chronic nerve conditions, and heart and blood vessel diseases (cardiovascular diseases)
  • Perform tests and ask questions to ensure you're not using tobacco or drugs
  • Order a psychological evaluation

Besides hand transplant, Mayo Clinic specialists also offer other treatment options for people who have had one or both hands amputated. Doctors individualize the treatment to each person's needs. These options can include reconstructive surgery or advanced prosthetic options.

As you consider having a hand transplant, your treatment team will explain to you what to expect before, during and after your hand transplant. After your transplant, you'll need to be prepared to have regular follow-up care with your transplant doctors and surgeons and hand therapy for several months after your hand transplant. You'll also need to take medications to prevent rejection of your transplanted hand (immunosuppressive medications) for life. These medications may cause serious side effects.

If your doctors and transplant team determine you're eligible for a hand transplant, your treatment team will explain benefits and risks of a transplant. Your transplant coordinator and other members of your team will provide you and your family with education about the hand transplant process.