Dr. Steven McCabe the spearhead of Canada’s first successful hand transplant

Photo of Hand Transplant Surgery

Dr. Steven McCabe, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto, recently led a team of eighteen surgeons as they performed Canada’s first successful hand transplant.

The procedure, which took approximately fourteen hours, was conducted on a woman who lost her arm below the elbow several years ago in an accident. Dr. McCabe told the CBC that the patient is “doing well,” and that her new hand has “good circulation.”

“We’ve been preparing quite intensively for over a year to get ready for this operation.”

The surgery was conducted at Toronto Western Hospital, where Dr. McCabe is director of the hospital’s Hand Program.

Dr. McCabe was well prepared for the procedure, having been a member of the surgical team that performed the world’s first successful hand transplant in Kentucky seventeen years ago.

He was also the course director for the CPD’s 2015 Upper Extremity Update in October. The update included Manktelow Day, the concentration of which was on how clinical research can impact hand therapy practice.

Rehabilitation for Canada’s first hand transplant recipient will begin immediately. According to Dr. McCabe, recovery will take approximately two years due to the slow rate of nerve regeneration.

“It requires a tremendous collaborative effort putting this all together.”