A 65-year-old quadruple amputee has received two new hands after a rare double transplant operation at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Richard Mangino got the two hands last week in a 12-hour transplant procedure by a team of more than 40 doctors, nurses and other medical staff, the hospital said.

The complicated surgery included transplanting skin, tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones and blood vessels on both forearms and hands, the hospital said.

Doctors said Mangino independently moved fingers just days after surgery and called the results a resounding success.

His recovery will take many months and doctors expect him to regain sense of touch in six to nine months with ongoing therapy to help him learn to grasp and pick things up.

The double-hand transplant is the second performed by Brigham and Women's, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Hospital announced the development of a hand transplant program in August last year. The hospital's transplant team carried out its first bilateral hand transplant in May this year.

Mangino, from Revere, Massachusetts, lost his arms below the elbows and legs below the knees after contracting sepsis, a bloodstream infection, in 2002. Sepsis also known as blood stream infection is the presence of bacteria (or other pathogens) or their toxins in the blood (septicemia), or in other tissue.

The donor's name was not disclosed. Staff at the New England Organ Bank obtained consent from the donor's family. For this kind of donation, being registered as an organ and tissue donor on one's driving license is not enough, the hospital informs - consent from the donor's family is needed.

The first hand transplant was performed in France in 1998, and the first in the United States was completed a year later.