In 1999, the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center in collaboration with CMKI, University of Louisville and sponsored by Jewish Hospital, performed the nation’s first hand transplant—which became the first successful hand transplant in the world.
The Louisville Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) Program, active since 1998, has screened more than 600 hand transplant candidates, and transplanted eight patients with nine hand allografts including the world’s longest surviving hand allograft (currently 14 years post-transplant). The Louisville VCA program is a collaborative effort between the surgeons and staff of the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare (now part of KentuckyOne Health), the Christine M. Kleinert Institute, and the University of Louisville. The functional outcomes and long-term results of clinical hand transplantation have exceeded initial expectations both at our center and the community at large. With the exception of a graft loss in patient #4, we have had very good to excellent results. All patients have expressed satisfaction with their transplant(s).
The photo above shows our second Hand Transplant Recipient, prior to surgery and 6 years post-transplant.