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Hospital Tweets Progress of Double Hand Transplant


Surgeons at a Louisville, Kentucky, hospital performed a double hand transplant Wednesday, the third such procedure to take place in the United States. The hospital is providing updates from the surgery on Twitter.

The surgery began around 7 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday at The Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center. A doctor who is not taking part in the operation is micro-blogging on Twitter.

The team of surgeons from Kleinert Kutz and Associates and the University of Louisville are closing the right hand of the double transplant surgery. This news is according to the tweet just before 12:30 pm on Wednesday August 25, 2010.

Yes, that’s correct. The surgeons used Twitter to document the surgery and to provide short, real-time updates as the procedure takes place as a means to demystify the procedure for the public.

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The surgery began at 7 pm Tuesday evening. Lead surgeon, Warren C. Breidenbach, M.D, with Kleinert Kutz & Associates, and his team of surgeons focused on the surgery while senior hand fellow Christiana Savvidou, M.D. used a laptop just outside the operating room to document the surgery as it takes place.

Breidenbach said, “The patient’s family is very excited about being able to follow the surgery online instead of occasional updates throughout the surgery by hospital personnel. We want others to follow the surgery as well to understand how it all works, identifying and connecting bones, arteries and veins.”

Savvidou used the tweeter account @jewishhospital (www.twitter.com/jewishhospital) and the hashtag #handtx.

this is the 3rd double hand transplant in USA

This bilateral transplant is the third double hand transplant to be done in the United States. The first two double hand transplants were done at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the first in May 2009 and the second in February 2010. Louisville doctors performed the nation's first five single hand transplants.

For more information on hand transplant surgeon visit the teams’ website: www.handtransplant.com.

Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center