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Hand Transplant Surgeon Leaving Louisville

The lead surgeon on the six hand transplant operations performed at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital has accpeted a job in Arizona.

Dr. Warren Breidenbach will head the Division of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at the University of Arizona.

Breidenbach is also a partner in the Kleinert and Kutz Hand Care Center at Jewish Hospital.

A statement from Kleinert and Jewish Hospital says Breidenbach will remain a part of the hand transplant team.

He has led the transplants of seven hands on six patients over the past 13 years.

The most recent patient, Dr. Rich Edwards, is recovering after a double hand transplant in August.

Breidenbach has not set a departure date.

(Photo courtesy of


Local News

Hand Transplant Recipient Doing Well After Second Surgery

By Sheila Ash

Doctors at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center provided an update Monday on the progress being made by double hand transplant recipient Rich Edwards.

“It may have been the donated hand had either an injured or an abnormal blood supply.  Or it could have been Mr. Edwards own forearms that were scarred and burned badly enough that they didn’t help give a good environment for one of the arteries,”

Breidenbach says Edwards (in photo from September 2) is doing fine.  Doctors will monitor the right hand for another two weeks and keep it immobile so blood flow won’t be disrupted.  Meanwhile, Edwards’ left hand is progressing well and will continue to receive therapy as scheduled.

Edwards lost the use of both his hands in a truck fire four years ago.  He received his donor hands in late August.

Local News

Double Hand Transplant Completed At Jewish Hospital

By Sheila Ash

Kentucky’s first double hand transplant was completed Wednesday at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center.

Lead surgeon Dr. Warren Breidenbach (pictured at right) says for the first time doctors were able to use the nerves of the patient’s own hands for the procedure.

“We were able to salvage tissue from the hand to help reconstruct the new hand. So in essence we were able to take a hand from the donor and then drape it or slot it over the structures which we could save in the hand which were functional and would help it,” he said.

Breidenbach said this is the first hand transplant he’s performed in which the patient’s damaged hands were still attached, but because of a burn injury he couldn’t use them.

Kentuckiana Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) coordinated the hand donation with the family and hospital.

The names of the patient and donor have not been disclosed.

This was the sixth hand transplant procedure to be performed at Jewish Hospital.