Vascularized composite allotransplant (VCA) has led to new treatment options for patients with severe upper extremity and facial injuries. Although VCA can restore form and function, it exposes the patient to the risks associated with lifelong immunosuppression. Hopefully, ongoing advances in regenerative medicine will someday obviate the need for VCA, but until that time, VCA remains an immediate means of reconstructing otherwise unreconstructable defects. We review the outcomes of hand and face transplants, as well as the recent developments in immunosuppression as it relates to the field of VCA.
Copyright © 2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.