Composite tissue allotransplantation (also referred to as vascularized composite allotransplantation) refers to the transplantation of histologically different tissue that may include skin, connective tissue, blood vessels, muscle, bone and nerve tissue. It is also known as reconstructive transplantation. Primary applications of this type of transplantation have been of the hand and face (partial and full), although there are also reported cases of several other composite tissue allotransplantations, including that of the larynx, knee and abdominal wall.
Hand transplants have been shown to be technically feasible and have been done in individuals who lost a hand due to trauma or life-saving interventions that caused permanent injury to the hand.
Hand allotransplantation is surgical procedure and, as such is not subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Any devices or drugs used in this procedure would be governed by the FDA.