Prof. Isidor Kessler died on March 14, 2007, at age 81. He was born in Russe, Bulgaria, and completed Medical School in Sophia. He immigrated to Israel in 1949 and completed his training in General Surgery and subsequently in Orthopaedics. To accomplish his desire to become a fully trained hand surgeon, he acquired a fellowship in San Francisco with Drs. Donald Pratt, Lot Howard, and John Niebauer, as well as an additional half year with Dr. Kauko Vainio in Finland. Returning to Israel, he started a 2-bed hand surgery unit at the Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot, which developed into a full Hand Surgery Department of 16 beds in 1973. He served as head of the unit until he retired in 1992.
Prof. Kessler was the founder of hand surgery in Israel. During a long career as a professor and as a clinician, surgeon, and teacher, he influenced innumerable students. He developed many surgical techniques that bear his name, including a popular method of flexor tendon repair. His achievements are known worldwide. He was elected to membership in the ASSH in 1980 as an international member and was a Founding Member of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand.
He is survived by his wife, 2 children, and 3 grandchildren. He will always remain the Number One Hand Surgeon in Israel and will be missed.
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