LEADING THE WAY

The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center “Best in Ohio” for heart and liver transplants.

"It's like finding a needle in a haystack," said one of our doctors. But finding the right match for someone in need of an organ transplant is a critical, life-changing job, and we dedicate ourselves to it all day, every day.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Comprehensive Transplant Center has been providing exceptional care for organ transplant patients for 50 years, and we're among the best and busiest centers in the nation. We're 15th in the country by number of transplants performed, and in the top 10 percent for number of kidney transplants. We're above the national average in all transplant patient survival rates, and "Best in Ohio" for heart and liver transplant survival rates. In April, during Donate Life Month, the colorful pinwheels adorning our front plaza represented the 9,000 organ transplants performed to date at Ohio State.

“Transplant-suitable organs are always in critically short supply. At any time, there are approximately 115,000 people in need of an organ transplant. Annually 8,000 die waiting their turn.” Click to tweet this story

Expert kidney transplants

As a major academic medical center, Ohio State has the resources, the commitment and the capability to identify matches and find new ways to make the most of every gift of organ donation. We've completed several chains of paired kidney donation surgeries, including two with six donors and six recipients, which are the largest chains performed in Ohio.

Expert heart transplants

We've performed nearly 500 heart transplants since 1986, and our extensive and successful mechanical assist program helps patients stay alive while waiting for a new heart. We are one of the nation's leaders in treating heart failure, with numerous clinical trials, including testing the new devices, drugs and other therapies that can improve lives and, in some cases, even eliminate the need for a heart transplant.

Expert liver transplants

Patients needing a liver transplant now have another option at Ohio State – receiving a portion of a liver from a living donor. The liver is the only organ that can regrow, and our technological advances now allow the possibility of a partial liver transplant.

"It's a challenging procedure that few transplant centers are capable of," says Dr. Kenneth Washburn, executive director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center and director of the Division of Transplantation Surgery. "We're fortunate to have a highly skilled team that gives our patients a real chance at living a quality life."

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A major challenge

Transplant-suitable organs are always in critically short supply. At any time, there are approximately 115,000 people in need of an organ transplant. Annually 8,000 die waiting their turn.

Our team is working hard to advance organ perfusion, the ability to rehabilitate organs that were once considered unusable. We're the first transplant center in Ohio to perform ex-vivo lung perfusion. In our organ assessment and repair center, donated lungs are placed in an incubator-like dome and attached to a circuit that removes excess water, ventilates and repairs the lung tissue. Ohio State has perfused kidneys for years, and we'll soon begin testing this method on livers.

Our scientists are also researching ways to improve immune system acceptance of new organs, surgical outcomes and the molecular biology behind organ injury and repair.

All of this is happening now. It's remarkable, and it's becoming remarkably routine. As a major academic medical center, we have a unique opportunity to collaborate across the many disciplines at Ohio State and make extraordinary things happen for our patients.

The world is changing. Medicine is changing. We’re leading the way.

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