News Releases

News Releases

University of Louisville/Kleinert, Kutz & Associates Surgeons Perform First Hand Transplant in United States at Jewish Hospital

For Immediate Release: 1/25/1999

(LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY) Physicians responsible for the first hand transplant in the United States will address the media in a press briefing today at the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart and Lung Center located in the Louisville Medical Center. The briefing will include information on the hand transplant, patient condition, details about the surgery and the surgical team. The hand transplant began at approximately 3:30 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, January 24, 1999. The partnership of Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville School of Medicine and Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center made this pioneering achievement possible. The University of Louisville School of Medicine Human Studies Committee and the Jewish Hospital Institutional Review Board granted approval in July 1998 to proceed with the innovative procedure after years of research. A hand transplant, unlike a solid organ transplant, involves multiple tissues (skin, muscle, tendon, bone, cartilage, fat, nerves and blood vessels) and is called composite tissue allotransplantation. The implications of the experimental surgical procedure will greatly influence reconstructive surgery and a number of other areas of medicine. Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D., a partner and hand surgeon with Kleinert, Kutz and Associates Hand Care Center, PLLC, and assistant clinical professor of surgery at University of Louisville, led the surgical team. The hand transplant team includes: Jon W. Jones, Jr., M.D., assistant professor of Surgery at University of Louisville; John H. Barker, M.D., PhD., associate professor of Surgery and director of Plastic Surgery Research at University of Louisville; and Gordon R. Tobin, M.D., professor of Surgery and chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University of Louisville.

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