6 Patients Donate; 6 Receive Kidneys
12 Surgical Teams and More Than 60 Clinicians Perform Procedures
May 26, 2009
Twelve surgical transplant teams, including more than 60 clinicians working in 12 operating rooms, successfully performed New York City's first reported six-way kidney transplant at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Six patients received lifesaving kidneys, five of whom had no compatible donor.
The multiple transplantations were made possible through the altruism of a 42-year-old New Jersey man who made the gift of life to a recipient unknown to him. In addition, one participating donor-recipient pair — two cousins by marriage — were compatible with each other, meaning they took part not out of necessity, but for the benefit of others.
"Kidney swaps not only allow patients to obtain a compatible live donor kidney, but they prevent the delay of time spent on the kidney transplant waiting list for a deceased donor transplant. Thousands of people die each year while on the waiting list for an organ transplant," says Dr. Lloyd Ratner, director of renal and pancreatic transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
As part of the six-way swap, the altruistic donor's kidney was implanted in a 54-year-old woman. Her nephew donated his kidney to a 55-year-old woman. Her husband donated his kidney to a 56-year-old woman. Her daughter, in turn, donated to a 56-year-old man, whose cousin-in-law donated to a
"About four years ago, our Hospital performed New York's first two-way kidney swap," says Dr. David Cohen, medical director of renal and pancreatic transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Since the program's inception, 40 patients have received kidneys in 16 paired exchanges. As our kidney-swap program continues to expand, we will bring more kidneys to the patients who need them — and make them available sooner."
How Kidney Swaps Work
Many kidney transplant candidates are able to find a family member or friend willing to donate a kidney, but they are immunologically incompatible due to blood type or other factors. Paired kidney exchanges (or "swaps") occur when the Hospital brings together two or more pairs of such incompatible donors and recipients. To illustrate the arrangement, let's say Chris needs a kidney and his brother Cory is willing to donate, but isn't compatible with Chris. Susan also needs a kidney and her daughter Sarah is willing to donate, but isn't compatible with Susan. In a swap, Cory donates to Susan, with whom he is compatible; in exchange, Sarah donates to Chris, with whom she is compatible.
All kidney donors receive thorough medical and psycho-social screenings prior to being accepted as donors, and postoperative follow-up after donation. Evaluations include comprehensive testing to rule out any kidney disease or serious medical problems; potential donors must also be approved by a psychiatrist and social worker. Donors can expect a normal, healthy lifespan equivalent to what they would have experienced with two kidneys. After donating, the patient's single kidney compensates by growing larger.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital — including NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center — performs more kidney transplants than any other hospital in the nation.
For more information on kidney swaps, patients can call 866-NYP-NEWS.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Pavilion. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report.