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2019: Comprehensive Transplant Center Helps Record Number of Patients

2019 proved to be the busiest year on record for the Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center, with more than 500 organs transplanted.

In March alone, 65 organ transplants were performed—the highest number of transplants in one month during the center's 15-year history. Forty-four patients received new kidneys—double the monthly average. That same month, surgeons also performed 11 liver transplants, nine heart transplants and one lung transplant.

“The ability to provide so many patients with a life-saving transplant is directly related to the engagement and dedication of our entire team” said Andrew S. Klein, MD, MBA, the Esther and Mark Schulman Chair in Surgery and Transplantation Medicine and director of the transplant center.

"The nurses, doctors, social workers and the finance team and administrative assistants work exceptionally well together, and this is a major strength of our program. They are committed to successfully navigating the many challenges that accompany an organ transplant to help our patients thrive after transplant," noted Klein.

First-year survival rates for transplant patients are an important marker of program excellence. According to the most recent national data compiled by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), the Cedars-Sinai Liver Transplant Program has the best one-year survival outcome of all hospitals in California—96 percent of patients survive beyond the one-year milestone. Kidney and heart transplant patients also had excellent outcomes, with 97% of patients surviving past the one-year benchmark.

The Smidt Heart Institute ranked first in the country in heart transplant volume, a distinction it has earned since 2010. According to the latest annual statistics provided by the United Network for Organ Sharing, Cedars-Sinai cardiac surgeons completed 122 heart transplants in 2018. UNOS is the nonprofit organization that manages the nation's transplant system.

“Each transplant is a gift of life to a needy a patient and is often only possible because of the selfless generosity of the organ donor’s family. They are invaluable to the success of our program,” said Fardad Esmailian, MD, surgical director of the Heart Transplant Program.

Irene Kim, MD, co-director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center, said it's "enormously satisfying to witness the amazing rejuvenation patients experience after receiving an organ transplant. The remarkable growth trajectory of the Cedars-Sinai CTC means that we can restore health to an increasing number of patients living with chronic illness. People get their lives back.”