Israeli joins Kentucky surgeons in surgery

Dr. Amir Oron aids a surgical team in transplanting a cadaver arm to a recipient.

February 22, 2012 05:25
1 minute read.
Doctors [illustrative]

surgery doctors transplant slicing 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


For the first time, an Israeli physician sent to Kentucky for professional work has joined a surgical team to transplant a cadaver arm to a recipient.

Dr. Amir Oron, a hand surgery specialist at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, participated in the 15- hour operation over the weekend at the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care and Microsurgery Center in Louisville.

Surgeons consider attaching an arm from a deceased donor the most challenging type of hand transplant surgery.

The recipient was 56-year-old Ronald Thurman, a farmer from Indiana whose arm was amputated in a combine accident nine years ago. He received his new right arm from a 22-year-old Texas man who was killed in a traffic accident and whose family donated his organs.

The arm was flown by jet from Texas to Kentucky while the two men were tissue typed and preparations were made for surgery.

Oron was part of a huge team of 42 hand surgeons from the US and other countries, headed by Dr. Joseph Kutz.

“Every operation like this is a challenge of its own,” said the Kaplan physician. “In such a case, because some of Mr. Thurman’s muscles were weakened during the accident, we had to transfer muscles originally meant for a different purpose. Before we attached the donor’s arm, the recipient underwent anti-rejection therapy based on a number of drugs.”

In the first stage, the bones are connected, followed by the arteries so the donor arm does not suffer from ischemia for longer than necessary.

Then the nerves, veins, ligaments and skin are attached.

The world’s first arm transplant was performed a few years ago at the same Kentucky center, where Oron was studying his specialty.

The farmer was the eighth patient to undergo such a transplant at Kleinert, but this was the first time an Israeli hand surgeon participated.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice


Cookie Settings