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Transplant Center experiences strong growth in volume

Sep. 22, 2016, 10:08 AM

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center, one of the largest organ transplant programs in the Southeast, has not only surpassed the projected number of transplants it expected to perform for fiscal year (FY) 2016, but also experienced an increase in the total number of transplants performed over the previous year.

According to FY 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) data released by the center, there were 500 organ transplants — 239 kidney or kidney/pancreas, 153 liver, 82 heart and 26 lung. The center has experienced an 18.5 percent increase in the volume of life-saving transplants compared to the same period during 2015.

And while the center anticipated that it would perform 458 transplants during FY 2016, the program saw growth of 9.2 percent over the cumulative number of transplants.

Douglas Hanto, M.D., Ph.D.
Douglas Hanto, M.D., Ph.D.

Douglas Hanto, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Surgery and director of the Transplant Center, is pleased with the growth and applauds the efforts of the Vanderbilt team, but also those of Tennessee Donor Services (TDS) for its work in raising awareness about the need for life-saving organ donation and its high family consent rate.

“Our organ supply is high because of the work TDS and the Organ Donation Council at Vanderbilt University Hospital are doing together,” Hanto said. “We are ranked in the top three in the country for organ donation. We have a high conversion rate, in excess of 90 percent.

“The success of our program is definitely a team effort. We have an experienced, dedicated, patient-centered staff that works diligently to get patients listed, transplanted and back to full health. We are providing greater opportunities for patients to have timely transplants and we continue to make every single patient a top priority.”

The survival rates for all transplanted organs continue to equal or exceed expected outcomes, he said.

Although transplants at Vanderbilt began in 1962 with the start of the kidney transplant program, the Vanderbilt Transplant Center was created in 1989.

It is the longest continuously running program in Tennessee. Since its inception, the center has performed 8,426 transplants (through June 30), including:

• 5,265 kidney or kidney/pancreas

• 930 heart

• 413 lung

• 1,818 liver

Hanto said the program is on pace for continued growth with an emphasis on community outreach.

“We are focused on ensuring that patients have ready access to our services, on providing the highest quality of care and striving to improve in every area of our programs.”

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