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21-Year-Old Male From Connecticut Receives Rare Living-Donor Nerve Transplant

Mother-Son Nerve Transplant Performed by New Jersey Medical Team

SHREWSBURY, NJ – January 10, 2004 – In what is believed to be the first time a patient from Connecticut undergoes a rare living-donor nerve transplant, a 21-year-old male from New London received donor nerves from his mother to reverse the paralysis of his right arm on Friday, January 7, 2005. The procedure took place at Monmouth Medical Center and was performed by a team of medical professionals led by Dr. Andrew Elkwood, M.D. of the Plastic Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, NJ.

The nerve transplant is a complex procedure that utilizes advanced technology in order to reverse many life-altering paralyzes. This weekend’s surgery was performed on 21-year-old Dylan Brigham’s arm, which was left paralyzed from a motorcycle accident in August 2003. As part of the procedure, the medical team surgically removed nerves from his mother’s legs and simultaneously transplanted them into Dylan’s arm. The procedure also required the doctors to take nerves from Dylan’s own legs and transplant them into his arm.

“Nerve transplants have shown incredible promise in helping once-paralyzed patients regain mobility that surpasses their previous expectations for recovery,” said Dr. Andrew Elkwood. “We are extremely pleased with the success of previous living-donor nerve transplants, and anticipate further advancements in medical technology that will continue to help reverse life-altering paralysis caused by accidents, strokes, and other medical tragedies.”

In May 2004, Dr. Andrew Elkwood performed a father-daughter living-donor nerve transplant, which resulted in the patient gaining full mobility of her once-paralyzed arm, surpassing all prior prognoses for her recovery. Dr. Elkwood used the same procedure in June 2004 to restore the functionality of another patient’s paralyzed arm, which was left paralyzed from a car accident nine months prior to the surgery. In addition, Dr. Elkwood made use of cadaverous nerves when he performed the first nerve transplant ever to take place on the East Coast in March 2003, on a patient who was shot in the arm and leg.  The patient has since regained near-complete functionality of his once-paralyzed arm and leg.

About Dr. Elkwood

Dr. Andrew Elkwood, M.D., is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who performs unique operations involving nerve rebuilding and complex reconstruction. Dr. Elkwood and his team are among the few doctors in the country to perform operations such as brachial plexus reconstruction, facial reanimation, nerve transplantation, and nerve grafting to preserve erectile function after prostate cancer.   Dr. Elkwood is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgery (FACS) and a Fellow of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.  Dr. Elkwood practices at The Plastic Surgery Center, with offices in NJ and Manhattan. For further information, please visit the Plastic Surgery Center’s website at