More than 6,000 kidney transplants have been performed at UCLA since 1964; these include combined kidney-liver, heart-liver and multi-organ transplants. The kidney and pancreas program now performs about 300 transplants each year, said Dr. Alan Wilkinson, director of the program.
“We achieve these results in spite of taking on very high-risk patients — some with complex medical problems and others at high risk of having rejection,” he said.
About 92 percent of patients who received kidneys at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center had functioning transplants three years after their surgeries, according to data compiled by the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients, which monitors national transplant data for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The statistics examine one-month, one-year and three-year survival rates.
“This is truly a great achievement for our faculty and the entire kidney transplant team,” said Dr. Jean deKernion, chair of the department of urology.
“These long-term results reflect the excellent care provided by referring physicians, as well as the benefits of a dedicated kidney transplant program with integrated nursing, medical and surgical care,” said Dr. H. Albin Gritsch, surgical director of the kidney transplant program.
The three-year statistics are the most important measure of patient outcomes because they include both early and late patient-survival rates, according to Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, medical director of the UCLA Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program.
“We are, of course, extremely proud of this achievement,” Danovitch said. “We greatly appreciate the wonderful teamwork and devotion that goes into the program from each of its members and the ongoing support from the hospital and the David Geffen School of Medicine.”
The UCLA Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program has earned a national reputation for its clinical and academic excellence and is recognized as a national leader in clinical research. A part of UCLA Transplantation Services, the program is a collaboration among transplant physicians in the division of nephrology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, surgeons from the department of urology’s division of transplant surgery, and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. The program has pioneered the use of laparoscopic nephrectomy for harvesting kidneys from live donors, making the procedure much less invasive for those donating an organ.