Skip to main content

Record year for the Vanderbilt Transplant Center saves 739 lives

Jan. 31, 2024, 10:24 AM

Members of the team that performed the final transplant of 2023 — which was completed just before midnight on Dec. 31 — included, from left, Madelyn Ewing, CST, Kathryn Kraft, MD, Marissa Kuo, MD, Laura Hickman, MD, MS, and Janise Malatesta, RN.
Members of the team that performed the final transplant of 2023 — which was completed just before midnight on Dec. 31 — included, from left, Madelyn Ewing, CST, Kathryn Kraft, MD, Marissa Kuo, MD, Laura Hickman, MD, MS, and Janise Malatesta, RN.

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center (VTC) established a new record in calendar year 2023 for total solid organ transplants, performing 739 lifesaving procedures among its adult and pediatric organ transplant programs. VTC finished the year as the fifth largest transplant center by volume in the nation.

The 2023 total surpasses VTC’s previous record of 645 transplants in 2021. In 2023, VTC’s lung transplant team accomplished two notable firsts — its first combined lung-kidney transplant and first combined lung-liver transplant.

Other records were set in the comprehensive adult and pediatric kidney transplant program (326 kidneys and eight kidney-pancreas procedures) the comprehensive adult and pediatric liver transplant program (169 livers), and the lung transplant program (95 lungs, including two heart-lung procedures.)

In the Adult Transplant program, teams performed 319 kidney transplants (including eight kidney-pancreas procedures), 128 heart transplants (including two heart-lung procedures), 152 liver transplants, and 95 lung transplants (including two heart-lung procedures.)

Pediatric transplant teams with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt performed 17 liver transplants, 15 heart transplants and 14 kidney transplants.

“Organ transplantation has a rich history at Vanderbilt,” said Joseph Magliocca, MD, professor of Surgery and director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. “The institution has made a firm commitment to providing access to life-saving organ transplants for as many patients as possible while achieving the highest quality outcomes. We strive to continue to be a national leader in organ transplantation in an environment that our faculty and staff are proud to be a part of.”

By the end of 2023, VUMC had exceeded 12,000 total transplants of all organs, starting with its first kidney transplant in 1962. It takes a highly specialized, multidisciplinary team of about 150 people to work on a single transplant. The transplant teams include physicians in each organ specialty, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists, intensivists, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, social workers, financial coordinators, nutritionists, organ procurement coordinators, preservationists, perfusionists and operating room staff, among others.

“It truly requires a team effort for the success of each individual transplant, and as transplant leadership we are so proud to be a part of this team,” said Heidi Schaefer, MD, professor of Medicine and medical director of Adult Solid Organ Transplant. “We continue to be one of the largest transplant centers in the U.S., with excellent outcomes for our patients.”

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Vanderbilt Medicine
Hope
Momentum
VUMC Voice

more