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Vanderbilt’s liver transplant program reaches new milestone

Oct. 19, 2017, 10:18 AM

On Oct. 3 Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) performed its 2,000th liver transplant, another milestone for one of the largest liver transplant programs in the Southeast.

Since the program’s inception in 1991, liver transplantation has experienced continued improvement in patient outcomes, quality of life, cost reduction and research efforts garnering national recognition as a center of excellence.

“This milestone represents an incredible effort and a sustained commitment from every member of our team to provide these complex services at such a remarkably high level,” said Seth Karp, M.D., H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery and director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. “It also demonstrates the strong institutional commitment to transplantation services.”

The milestone surgery took about five hours, said Karp.

VUMC joins 11 programs in the United States that have performed more than than 2,000 liver transplants.

In 2016, there were 152 liver transplants at VUMC, including patients referred through the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System of the Veterans Administration. For 2017, there have been 118 liver transplantations to date. Currently there are 167 patients on the waiting list at the Medical Center.

VUMC’s approach to care centers around a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team trained to address and coordinate every aspect of care, including surgery, hepatology, psychological services, nursing, pharmacy, social work and financial support, said Karp.

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