Altruistic Donor Makes NYC's First 4-Way Kidney Transplant Possible
Nearly 50 Clinicians Perform Procedure Together<br/>Eight Patients Involved in Procedures; Four Patients Receive Kidneys
Aug 5, 2008
Nearly 50 clinicians, working in eight operating rooms, successfully performed New York City's first four-way kidney transplant at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Four patients, who otherwise had no compatible donor, received lifesaving kidneys.
The multiple transplantations were made possible through the altruism of a 35-year-old New York man, who made the gift of life to a recipient unknown to him.
"Through the selfless gift of one man and the extraordinary teamwork of our clinicians, four patients' lives have been saved," says Dr. Lloyd Ratner, director of renal and pancreatic transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
As part of the four-way swap, the altruistic donor's kidney was donated to a female recipient, whose husband donated his kidney to a female recipient, whose father donated his kidney to a male recipient, whose sister donated to a male recipient.
"Two years ago, our Hospital performed New York's first three-way kidney swap. Since then, 11 additional patients have received kidneys as part of the program. Now, as our kidney-swap program continues to expand, including through this milestone four-way swap, we will bring more kidneys to the patients that need them — and make them available sooner than they would have otherwise," says Dr. David Cohen, medical director of renal and pancreatic transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Because of the kidney swap exchange, all four of these recipients were able to receive transplants before the start of kidney dialysis. If these patients were placed on the transplant waiting list, the average time in New York is five to seven years. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia has been able to reduce the waiting time for deceased donor transplants to one to three years. Each year thousands of people die while waiting for an organ transplant.
Paired kidney exchanges (or "swaps") occur when willing and medically suitable living donors are found to be immunologically incompatible with their intended recipients (family members or friends). A search of the list of those awaiting kidney transplantation may reveal two or more such incompatible pairs, where the potential donor in one family — although incompatible with his or her family member or friend — is compatible with a different person on the waiting list who also happens to have a willing but incompatible donor. The donors then can each donate, but to the other intended recipient.
All kidney donors receive thorough medical and psycho-social screenings prior to being accepted as donors, and post-operative 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 remaining kidney compensates by growing slightly larger and increasing its function.
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, which is among U.S.News & World Report's top 10 hospitals nationally, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and its academic affiliate, Weill Cornell Medical College.
Jennifer Homa 212-305-5587 [email protected]