News Releases

News Releases


For Immediate Release: 2/6/2006

LOUISVILLE, KY – Matt Scott, the world’s first successful hand transplant recipient, will arrive in Louisville on February 12th and begin his seven-year check-up the following morning with doctors, therapists, and others from Jewish Hospital.  Scott will undergo two days of evaluation on February 13-14 from a number of physicians including lead hand surgeon Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center, and lead transplant surgeon Frederick R. Bentley, M.D., University of Louisville.
Scott became the nation’s first hand transplant recipient (now the world’s first successful) on January 24-25, 1999.  He received his new left hand during a 14 ½-hour surgical procedure performed at Jewish Hospital by a 17-member surgical team from Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center and University of Louisville. He is one of the 18 patients around the world to receive a hand transplant, six of which received double hand transplants.
Scott, a New Jersey native, age 44, is an instructor at Camden County College. He can use his transplanted hand for everyday living activities including picking up his two sons, opening a car door, turning door knobs, drinking from a glass, dialing a cell phone, writing his name and tying his shoes.  Scott also has hot and cold sensation in his hand. He lost his dominant left hand on December 23, 1985 in a blast from an M80 firecracker accident.
Scott said, “being able to perform two handed functions, such as carrying my briefcase in one hand and making a phone call on my cell, is one of ordinary things that people take for granted that I can now do.  Before the hand transplant, I would need to put my briefcase down, and then make the call.”
In January, Scott presented his perspective on the innovative experimental procedure to
world-renowned surgeons and researchers at the Sixth International Symposium on Composite Tissue Allotransplantation in Tucson, Arizona.

Hand Transplant Program

The hand transplant program was developed by a partnership of physicians and researchers at Jewish Hospital, the University of Louisville and Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center. A second hand transplant was performed by the team on Jerry Fisher, a Michigan native, on February 18, 2001. The Louisville team is the only group in the United States who has performed hand transplants. 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, such as the partial face transplant that took place in France in 2005.  Together, the partnership has supported the research initiatives of this innovative procedure along with other procedures to improve the quality of life for patients.
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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