Hand, Finger, Arm Reattachment

Replantation is the reattachment of a finger, hand, or arm that has been completely cut or detached from a person’s body. The purpose of this surgery is for patients to regain functional usage of the reattached body part. Thanks to strides in modern medicine, the average survival rate of a reattached body part is between 70 and 90%. However, we only recommend hand, finger, or arm reattachment if we are confident that we can restore significant function and achieve benefits that outweigh the risks. 

Conditions Treated

  • Limb loss
  • Partial amputation 
  • Toe-to-finger transplant
  • Amputation and TMR
Procedure Time
2 to 8+ Hours (depending on severity)
Treatment Location
General Anesthesia
Recovery Time
12+ Months

Benefits of Reattachment Surgery

Hand, finger, or arm reattachment surgery offers an opportunity for patients to regain not only physical functionality but also a renewed sense of empowerment and independence.

  • Reclaim the ability to perform essential tasks
  • Experience improved dexterity and movement
  • Restore your self-image and confidence
  • Reduce the risk of future complications

Are you a candidate?

In some cases, replacing the detached body part is not possible because the part is too damaged. There are also scenarios, depending on age, comorbid conditions, functional status, and work, where we may counsel you to not reattach the part. Although this may seem like a difficult conclusion to accept, our specialists are passionate about only recommending treatments that will allow the greatest recovery of function and quality of life. 

Find Your Surgeon

Replantation of a severed body part is a technically demanding and exceptionally difficult surgery. It requires expertise in bone healing, fracture and tendon repair, as well the use of microsurgery to coapt severed nerves and reattach vessels 1.0 mm or smaller in diameter. 

What To Expect


Before surgery, you will undergo general anesthesia to ensure you are completely asleep and pain-free during the procedure. Following this, a thorough assessment will take place to remove damaged tissue, leaving only healthy tissue for reattachment. The surgical team will identify all repair sites, which will guide the procedure. 


If necessary, bones will be meticulously cleaned, shortened (if needed), and then reattached using various methods such as wires, pins, plates, or screws. 

One of the most technically demanding and crucial aspects of the procedure is the repair of blood vessels. Microsurgery techniques are employed to address vascular damage, as the proper restoration of blood flow is essential for the survival of the re-attachment. Additionally, your surgical team will repair or reattach tendons, nerves, and muscles to ensure that the limb or digit can regain mobility, sensation, and strength.

Following the repair of all internal structures, the skin is carefully closed, and the reattached limb or digit is placed in a splint or cast. Soft tissue reconstruction may be necessary in the form of skin or muscle transfer in addition to skin grafting or skin replacement.

Completion Amputation

In situations where reattachment is not a viable option, an alternative known as completion amputation may be considered. This involves the cleaning, smoothing, and covering of the cut end. In some cases, this approach can lead to a quicker and more successful recovery than attempting reattachment. Furthermore, there are scenarios where the body's natural regenerative capacity can be harnessed to facilitate the regrowth of lost tissue, providing another avenue for recovery and rehabilitation.


After the surgery, you will be closely monitored in the recovery area to ensure your well-being and survival of the reattached limb. Depending on the extent of the procedure and your overall condition, you may or may not require a hospital stay, which will be determined by your healthcare team. You might experience some discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication. Swelling and limited mobility in the treated area are common and should improve gradually. Our medical team will provide clear post-operative care instructions, including wound care, physical therapy, and any necessary follow-up appointments to support your recovery and ensure the best possible outcome.



The reattachment of a severed body part is not only technically demanding on the surgeon, but it is also very demanding on the patient. Our specialists believe that the successful outcome of any reattachment is 50% related to how well it is surgically repaired, and 50% how well the patient completes the recovery process, including therapy. 

Patients must be committed to multiple months of being unable to use the reattached part and multiple months of therapy. Physical therapy and the use of splints are essential to the recovery process. From the beginning, splints are used to protect the newly repaired tendons. Hand therapy is eventually used to keep the joints from getting stiff and to prevent the tendons from getting stuck.

We ask patients to understand that there must be a balance between letting the reattached body part rest and recover against the likelihood for tendons and joints to get stuck in place due to the necessary period of immobilization. Most patients will require at least one or two further surgeries to remove scar tissue in an attempt to improve the motion of the reattached body part.

Real people. Real results.

Meet Lisa,

who underwent a series of reconstructive surgeries to reattach her arm after a tragic accident. 

Lisa suffered a near-amputation of her left arm in a horrific car accident, but through a series of complex reconstructive surgeries performed by Dr. Andrew Elkwood, including reattaching the arm, nerve transplants, and an innovative bicep muscle transplant from her back, she regained remarkable function and use of her left arm. Despite the grueling recovery process involving multiple operations over many months, Lisa maintained an incredibly positive outlook and deep gratitude for the doctors who saved her limb and her life.

Patient Resources

Visit our Patient Resource Center online to access useful information such as intake forms, tips for your first appointment, ways to prepare for surgery, and more.


What are the risks and side effects of reattachment?

Even after a long period of recovery, patients may find that they cannot perform all of the activities they would have hoped to do. Your surgeon will discuss devices and options to assist you in recovering some of these activities. Many patients are able to return to the jobs they held before the injury.

Patients may develop chronic pain from the reattached part. The replanted part may not regain 100% of its original function, but most would consider regaining 70% of its original function to be an excellent outcome.

What kind of pain or discomfort can I expect after surgery?

Some discomfort is normal and can be managed with prescribed pain medication. Swelling and limited mobility in the treated area are common but should improve over time.

When can I return to work or normal activities?

This will vary based on your specific case. Your healthcare team will provide you with personalized guidelines on when it's safe to resume daily activities.

What can I do to aid my recovery at home?

Following your healthcare provider's instructions for wound care, taking prescribed medications, and attending follow-up appointments are crucial. It's also essential to keep the treated area protected and immobilized as directed.

Will there be visible scarring?
While some scarring is expected, the goal is to minimize it and make it as inconspicuous as possible. Your surgeon will discuss scar management options with you.
How often will I need follow-up appointments?
he frequency of follow-up appointments will depend on your progress and the specific details of your case. Your healthcare team will provide guidance on the recommended schedule.
HUES Surgeons

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