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Vascular composite allografts

What are vascular composite allografts (VCAs)?

Vascular composite allografts (VCAs) involve the transplantation of multiple structures that may include skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Face and hand transplants are the most well-known types of VCA thanks to extensive media coverage. While still uncommon, VCA transplantation is expanding and includes reproductive organs.

VCA transplants have restored vital function to patients with severe injuries and disfigurement, burns, malformations, and illness.

Like other transplant recipients, people who receive VCA transplants must take medication to prevent their body from rejecting the transplanted organ.

VCA candidates are matched with compatible donors based on waiting time and distance from the donor hospital. Unlike internal organs, face and hands are also matched for size, skin color, and gender, and age range.

Donor authorization (on your driver’s license or online donor registry) does not include VCA. A separate, specific authorization is required for VCA donation.

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