Military VCA in the World

C. A. Fries, D. Tuder, V. S. Gorantla, R. K. Chan, M. R. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The world’s first hand transplant was performed for a serviceman in 1964, following a blast injury. Despite a need for such effective reconstruction of military wounds, only eight further transplants have been performed for injured soldiers. This review analysed the specific factors that have informed the use of vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) in military patients. Recent Findings: Nine servicemembers have received reconstructive transplants worldwide. Seven have received upper limb transplants, one a partial face transplant and one a penile transplant. These have been in Ecuador, the USA, Poland, India and Russia. Countries with clinical VCA programmes in military hospitals include Vietnam and China, whilst others have active pre-clinical VCA research programmes including the USA, the UK and Canada. Summary: Despite specific concerns in reconstructing military patients using VCA, outcomes have improved in the last decade and the field has evolved to include more complex tissue composites, across more international centres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Transplantation Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Blast injury
  • Composite tissue allotransplantation
  • Face transplant
  • Hand transplant
  • Military reconstruction
  • Trauma
  • VCA
  • Vascularized composite allotransplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Nephrology
  • Immunology


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