Physicians
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Surgeons salvage hand nerves of double-transplant patient at Jewish Hospital

Louisville Courier-Journal, August 26, 2010

Doctors completed the region's first double-hand transplant Wednesday, replacing a man's burned, non-functional hands with two new ones. “It looks very good at this point,” Dr. Joseph E. Kutz, a hand surgeon with Kleinert Kutz and Associates said at a press conference, about half an hour after surgery ended. The experimental surgery at Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center — the nation's third double-hand transplant after two in Pittsburgh — took about 17.5 hours. The team from Kleinert Kutz and the University of Louisville included six doctors and 14 fellows, and the team took the unusual step of providing real-time updates by Twitter throughout the surgery. Dr. Warren Breidenbach of Kleinert Kutz, the lead hand surgeon, said he hopes the patient ultimately recovers 80 percent to 90 percent of function in his hands, returns to all his activities and winds up with “a reasonably good grip strength.” “The real issue is the next 24-48 hours, which is critical,” Breidenbach said.