The UofL Health & University of Louisville Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) program is based in the Trager Transplant Center at UofL Health - Jewish Hospital. Our multidisciplinary team includes surgeons, physicians, therapists, nurses, and the excellent ancillary support services from UofL Health and the University of Louisville.
The UofL Health & University of Louisville VCA Program was the first in the United States and performed the first five hand transplants in the U.S. Matthew Scott, the first patient who received a hand in our program has the world’s longest surviving hand transplant at more than 22 years. Together, this partnership of physicians, researchers and healthcare providers has evaluated over 700 patients and performed 12 hand transplants on ten patients since starting the program in 1998.
Matthew Scott became the first patient to undergo a hand transplant in the United States at Jewish Hospital in 1999. The success of his transplant has impacted the future of both transplantation and reconstructive surgery around the world. As of 2022, there have been more than 200 hands transplanted on more than 140 patients around the world. Some of the physicians who have performed these surgeries were trained through the University of Louisville Christine M. Kleinert Institute Hand Surgery Fellowship, meaning the impact of this history-making medical procedure ripples far beyond Louisville.
For most amputees, prosthetics and conventional reconstructive surgery is the best option. For select patients, hand transplantation may be a good treatment alternative and one that is offered at the Trager Transplant Center.
To learn more about the VCA Program at the Trager Transplant Center and whether hand transplantation may be an option, or for patient referrals, please call 502-852-1351.
- Christopher M. Jones, M.D. – Director of the UofL Health & University of Louisville VCA Program
- Allan M. Ramirez, M.D. – Medical Director of the UofL Health & University of Louisville VCA Program
- Christina L. Kaufman, Ph.D. – Scientific Director of the UofL Health & University of Louisville VCA Program
- Hand Transplant Surgical Team – Our team includes surgeons from the UofL Department of Surgery, and includes General, Orthopedic, Plastic and Vascular Surgeons.
Matthew Scott, America’s First Hand Transplant Recipient
Matthew Scott was just 24 years old in 1985 when an accident involving fireworks robbed him of his left hand. Though a prosthesis helped him resume many normal activities, Matthew wanted more. In January of 1999, he received a hand transplant at Jewish Hospital, the first in the United States. Mr. Scott’s recovery exceeded expectations, and he has the world’s longest surviving hand transplant, at more than 22 years and counting. Mr. Scott and the rest of our hand transplant recipients return to Louisville each year for annual evaluations. Mr. Scott is pictured here with Dr. Christopher M. Jones, Director of the Trager Transplant Center and the UofL Health & UofL VCA Program.