Hospital To Begin Hand Transplant Program For Children

(June 17, 2013)--Boston Children's Hospital is starting the world's first hand transplant program for children, and doctors say it won't be long until face transplants and other operations to improve appearance and quality of life are offered to children, too.

Doctors say it's clear from adult surgeries that these operations are safe enough for children in certain cases.

The main risk for children is the immune-suppressing drugs that prevent rejection, but have side effects.

However, Dr. Simon Horslen of Seattle Children's Hospital said the expanding knowledge of immune suppression makes it less of a risk for children than previously.

He also noted that quality of life transplants won't be done as emergency procedures so parents will have time to consider the pros and cons.

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