Hand Transplant Surgery and Rehabilitation + Therapist's Role in Hand Prosthetic Intervention

Hand Transplant Surgery and Rehabilitation + Therapist's Role in Hand Prosthetic Intervention

Kodi Azari, M.D. and Renee Portenier, OT/CHT, discussed about the process of hand transplant surgery and how hand therapy plays an important role after the intense 18 hours surgery. We also invited the 81st hand transplant recipient, Jonathan Koch, to share his recovery journey with us. Chelsea Welch spoke about various types of body driven prosthetics for finger and partial-hand amputation and the hand therapist's role during the process.

Contact Hours: 4 (CBOT Approved)

Registration: NOT AVAILABLE

Webinar Outline:

From the surgeon's perspective - by Kodi Azari, M.D., Reconstructive Transplantation Section Chief in the Department of Surgery at UCLA

  1. World experience
  2. Placing a team together
  3. Technical elements of hand transplantation
  4. Indications for transplant
  5. Jonathan’s case

From the recipient's perspective - Jonathan Koch, 81st hand transplant recipient

  1. Live interview with Jonathan. Including his experience before and after the surgery and his current functional status.

From the primary hand therapist's perspective, Renee Portenier, OT/CHT, senior Occupational Therapist / Certified Hand Therapist at UCLA

  1. Team approach
  2. Selection criteria
  3. Orthoses design, fabrication and application
  4. Therapy treatment protocol: frequency and duration
  5. Case comparison – UCLA’s 1st and 2nd transplantation
  6. Precautions and contraindications
  7. Assessment - standardized and non-standardized tests
  8. Functional return

The Hand Therapist's Role in Finger and Partial-Hand Prosthetic Intervention - by Chelsea Welch, MSOP, CO., Education Outreach Specialist with Naked Prosthetics

  1. Compare the percentage of finger amputations to that of other upper extremity amputations.
  2. Recognize the impact finger amputations have on heavy manual laborers.
  3. Recognize the important steps to create successful patient outcomes with body-driven prostheses.
  4. Identify how therapists can help improve prosthetic function and contribute to post-delivery care.


  • Participants will be able to apply their own knowledge with critical thinking skills to improve comfort level when addressing unusual diagnoses.
  • Participants will appreciate the importance of patient centered approach in the healing and therapeutic process.
  • Participants will realize the importance of treating a person holistically, instead of treating a diagnosis.
  • Participants will be able appreciate the overall goal and outlook for hand transplantation, drawbacks and the future projects that are being looked at and addressed.
  • Participants will be able follow the progression of therapy and therapeutic approaches that are involved with the treatment of a hand transplantation
  • Participants will have information and resources to create a hand transplant protocol if their own institution adopts a program.; or if a transplant recipient transferred to their clinic for continuation of therapy.

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