Cedars-Sinai Hits New High for Organ Transplants


Newswise — LOS ANGELES (July 17, 2023) — Fiscal year 2023, which ended June 30, proved to be the busiest year yet for Cedars-Sinai’s Comprehensive Transplant Center and Smidt Heart Institute, with more than 600 organs transplanted.

The kidney/pancreas transplant team completed 317 transplant surgeries (316 kidney and one dual kidney-pancreas), topping its previous record of 290 transplant surgeries (279 kidney, 10 kidney-pancreas and one pancreas) in fiscal year 2021, according to statistics compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the nonprofit organization that manages the U.S. organ transplant system. Fifteen of the 2023 transplants were pediatric kidney transplants, the most the center ever has completed in one year.  

“Organ transplantation requires close coordination and trust from a large team of professionals who truly care about patients,” said Irene Kim, MD, the Esther and Mark Schulman Chair in Surgery and Transplantation Medicine, director of the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and surgical director of the Kidney Transplant Program. “Physicians, nurses and coordinators, social workers, dietitians, administrative professionals and so many more all work together to make it happen. Most importantly, organ transplantation would not be possible without the lifesaving gifts of organ donors.”

Surgeons in the Department of Cardiac Surgery performed 202 thoracic organ transplants during fiscal year 2023. The team’s 126 heart transplants during fiscal year 2023 is a significant increase over the previous year’s total of 105. Surgeons also performed more lung transplants during fiscal year 2023, with 76 transplants compared to 72 during fiscal year 2022.

“We are proud to offer state-of-the-art care to all our heart and lung transplant patients, who are often referred by other transplant centers for advanced therapies, such as innovative, minimally invasive lung transplants that help our patients get back to a better quality of life sooner,” said Joanna Chikwe, MD, chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery.

Liver transplant surgeons, led by Nicholas Nissen, MD, director of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, and Alexander Kuo, MD, professor of Medicine and medical director of the Liver Transplant Program, performed 97 transplants, nearly as many as the prior fiscal year.

Although Cedars-Sinai’s transplant volumes are impressive, they don’t tell the complete story, Kim said.

“Cedars-Sinai is a national leader in performing complicated transplant surgeries,” she said. “We take on some of the most complex cases, often referred to us from other medical centers.”

These include highly sensitized patients, who have high levels of antibodies in their blood, making their bodies more likely to reject organs.

Cedars-Sinai’s Stanley Jordan, MD, director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center’s Human Leukocyte Antigen and Transplant Immunology Laboratory and professor of Medicine, is a pioneer in the development of desensitization therapies, which remove prohibitive anti-HLA antibodies from the blood and enable those patients with these antibodies to receive a lifesaving transplant.

Read more in DiscoveriesMeet Transplant Surgery Trailblazer Irene Kim, MD


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