SIU’s Hand Transplant Program: “Now, We are Going to Restore Some Lives”

Hand Youtube ThumbnailPhysicians with the Institute for Plastic Surgery at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine are searching for the first candidate for the school’s newly launched hand transplant program – the first of its kind in Illinois.

Between 6,000 and 10,000 upper extremity amputations occur each year in the United States. More than 1,200 soldiers have lost a limb as a result of explosions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Check out the brief video below to learn more about the program.

“We probably see more amputations and more cases of people losing their blood supply that requires microsurgery than any other institution,” said Michael Neumeister, MD, professor and chair of SIU’s Department of Surgery and surgical director of SIU’s Hand Transplant program.

The Memorial Medical Center Foundation provided a $2.8 million grant to establish the program. The grant is expected to cover the majority of costs for up to five patients during the program’s first three years.

For more information about SIU’s Hand Transplant program, visit its website here. Potential candidates can send an email to or call (855) SIU-HAND.