About the Reconstructive Transplantation Program

The Reconstructive Transplantation Program is part of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UPMC, which is nationally recognized for its expertise in general reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.

Our surgeons have pioneered many of the techniques, currently in use around the world, for:

  • Body contouring after weight loss
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Hand surgery
  • Microsurgery

This expertise in reconstructive plastic surgery, coupled with the strength of one of the world’s most experienced transplant centers, distinguishes our program.

In fact, as one of the first transplant centers in the world, UPMC has been at the heart of some of the most notable advances in the field of transplant medicine.

Our laboratories, clinics, and operating rooms have been the proving grounds for novel research, clinical protocols, and surgical techniques that have paved the way for ever-advancing standards of patient care.

Our Reconstructive Transplant Experience

Since 2009, UPMC surgeons have performed eight hand or hand/forearm transplants on five patients, including the nation's first double-hand transplant and total forearm transplant.

Research Highlights

Our program benefits from being part of an academic medical center with robust basic and clinical research studies that span many specialties throughout the transplant field.

The findings derived from this research have contributed to improved care for our transplant patients. Most notably, UPMC researchers were responsible for developing  immunosuppressive drug therapy that helps to prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs.

And today, our researchers continue to look at ways to adjust immunosuppressive drug therapy to maximize the benefits for patients, while reducing the often troublesome side effects.

Additional transplant research highlights include:

  • Novel studies of topical immunosuppressive drugs to treat rashes that may signal rejection in composite tissue (hand and arm) transplant recipients.
  • Highly sophisticated imaging studies, which have allowed for better visualization of the anatomy and treatment planning.

UPMC Reconstructive Transplant Program Fast Facts

Our surgeons successfully completed:

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