News Releases

News Releases


For Immediate Release: 1/22/2008

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY (January 22, 2008) – Matt Scott, the world’s first successful hand transplant recipient, will celebrate his ninth anniversary with his new left hand on January 24. Scott became the nation’s first hand transplant recipient in 1999 when a 17-member surgical team from Kleinert Kutz and University of Louisville transplanted a donor hand during a 14 1/2-hour surgical procedure performed at Jewish Hospital.

Scott, an instructor at Camden County College in New Jersey, continues to use his new hand to do the everyday living activities that some individuals take for granted, such as holding a book in one hand and writing on a chalkboard with the other -- something he could not do before the surgical procedure.  In addition, he experiences hot and cold sensation in the hand.

Scott is encouraged that others have undergone hand transplants as well and knowing that he is not the only one to receive a hand transplant. There have been a total of 38 hands transplanted on 30 patients around the world. Two patients have received new hands in the U.S., along with Scott -- Jerry Fisher in 2001 and David Savage in 2006 -- by the same team of surgeons at Jewish Hospital.  Fisher and Savage are both from Michigan. 

“There is nothing new for me to report on how I am doing from last year,” said Scott. “I still continue to use my new hand doing the many tasks I could not do with the use of a prosthesis. But I would like to express my congratulations to David Savage on his recent highly successful one-year anniversary.  I am thrilled he is doing so well, and wish him all the best for the upcoming year.”

Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., who led the team of surgeons that performed all three of the innovative surgeries said, “All of the patients are doing well, which continues to be encouraging.  We will continue to monitor each of the patients on a regular basis for signs of rejection, along with a number of other laboratory tests and evaluations as needed.”

 Hand Transplant Program



Patient and physician information, photography and video are available on our web site at and  








The hand transplant program was developed by a partnership of physicians and researchers at the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center, Kleinert Kutz and Associates, Christine M. Kleinert Institute and University of Louisville. The Louisville team is the only group to perform hand transplants in the United States. The pioneering procedure has greatly impacted the future of transplantation and reconstructive surgery as surgeons and researchers look to other procedures to improve the quality of life for patients.  Kentuckiana Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) coordinated the donation of the hands for all three recipients.


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For More Information...
Barbara Mackovic
Senior Manager

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare Kleinert Institute Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center University of Louisville School of Medicine