Emory Performs First Hand Transplant in Georgia and Southeast

first hand transplant

Watch the video produced by the Orlando Sentinel.

Hand Transplant Program

Hand Transplantation StudyEmory's Hand Transplant Program is part of the Emory Transplant Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia. The hand transplant program was established by Linda Cendales, MD to evaluate hand transplantation as a therapeutic option after loss of one or both hands. Dr. Cendales is the only transplant surgeon in the U.S. trained in both hand microsugery and hand transplantation.

In addition to the clinical study of hand transplantation, Dr. Cendales has established a comprehensive hand transplant center at Emory to study Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA), or the transplantation of multiple tissues (skin, muscle, bone, cartilage, nerve, tendon, vessel) as a collective functional unit. VCA continues to advance by leaps and bounds, with recent reports from around the world of transplants involving donors' faces, knees, trachea and even a uterus, performed in 2000 in Saudi Arabia.

Emory's hand transplant center is currently open to those who have lost one or both hands below the elbow and are interested in a potential hand transplant. Hand transplantation, like other forms of organ transplantation, is a major surgical procedure that requires lifelong medication to prevent rejection of the transplanted hand(s). For more information about this clinical research study, please visit clinicaltrials.gov.

Georgia's First Hand Transplant Procedure

In 1999, Dr. Linda Cendales helped organize the team that performed the first U.S. hand transplant in Louisville, Kentucky. After establishing the hand transplant center at Emory, Dr. Cendales and her team performed Georgia's first hand transplant procedure (the 14th procedure in the U.S.) on March 12, 2011, a 19-hour procedure for a 21-year-old student out of Florida whose arm was amputated as an infant due to Kawasaki Disease.

Research & Clinical Trials

Research & Clinical Trials

The Emory Transplant Center has earned a reputation of clinical excellence and advanced research. The Center’s research funding continues to grow and research dollars received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have nearly tripled over the last six years.

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Additional Resources

Additional information about hand transplantation and clinical trials.

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Emory Transplant Center


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