UW Medical Center approved for face, hand transplants - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UW Medical Center approved for face, hand transplants

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SEATTLE (AP) - The University of Washington Medical Center has received approval to perform face, hand and other life-altering transplants.

The United Network for Organ Sharing added the UW Medical Center to a list of 20 hospitals nationwide that will perform the transplants.

Face and hand transplants are rare, but they're becoming common enough to be regarded as potential state-of-the-art treatment for people disfigured by disease, accident or disaster.

LifeCenter Northwest, the region's organ-procurement organization, will be responsible for identifying donors and requesting consent from family members.

Dr. Peter Neligan directs the Center for Reconstructive Surgery at the medical center. He says the potential pool of donors is small because face transplants and upper limb transplants have to be carefully matched.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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