Dedicated to delivering high quality, comprehensive and cost-effective organ transplant care


The Division of Transplantation Surgery, one of eight specialty divisions within the Department of Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, is dedicated to delivering high quality, comprehensive and cost-effective organ transplant care.

Based on a solid foundation of basic, translational and clinical research, the division combines a busy clinical transplant program with a diverse and productive research effort within Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center (CTC). 

The division has embarked on a number of collaborative, interdisciplinary endeavors to enhance both the clinical activities and the basic research efforts in transplantation:
  • Immunopharmacology
  • Immune assessment and monitoring
  • Immune engineering
  • Information systems
  • Biostatistics
  • Clinical trials
  • Public policy and ethical considerations
  • Communications and public relations
Our physicians hold leadership positions in national transplant organizations, including the United Network for Organ Sharing and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, working to advance the science, practice and policy of organ transplantation.

Celebrating 50 Years of Lifesaving Organ Transplants

Since our transplant program first began in 1967, the Comprehensive Transplant Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has become a world leader in lifesaving care and transplant research, providing heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas and kidney-pancreas transplants.

Our established team of specialty trained transplant experts includes: 
  • Disease specialists
  • Transplant surgeons
  • Infectious disease physicians
  • Transplant coordinators
  • Advanced practice providers
  • Social workers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Transplant pharmacists
Being an academic medical center allows us access to the latest treatments and clinical trials of new immunosuppressive drugs and anti-rejection therapies. Our current standard of care is using prednisone-free immunosuppressive medications, a regimen available to about one quarter of all patients in the United States.

Excellence and Experience

  • Top 15 transplant program, by volume, in the United States
  • 9,700 solid organ transplants since 1967
  • More than 450 organ transplants performed each year
  • Recognized by U.S. News & World Report among the top one percent of all hospitals in the nation caring for patients with kidney, pancreas, heart, lung and liver disease
  • Multidisciplinary research collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital at the Center for the Epidemiological Study of Organ Failure and Transplantation (CESOT) to improve outcomes in transplantation worldwide
  • Members of the Acute Liver Failure Study Group, a collaborative network of 28 hospitals that have studied more than 3,000 cases of acute liver failure
  • One of the largest and most experienced kidney-pancreas centers in the world
  • Ability to perform living donor transplants of both the kidney and liver
  • Only experts in central Ohio to perform Auto Islet cell transplantation to cure end state pancreatitis, which left untreated leads to diabetes

Transplant Firsts at Ohio State

1967 Living donor kidney transplant (Ohio State’s first organ transplant)

One of the first centers in the U.S. to study cyclosporine, an immunosuppressant that revolutionized transplantation

1984  Liver transplant (first in Ohio)

1985 — Pancreas transplant

1988  Combined kidney-pancreas transplant

1986 — Heart transplant

— Lung transplant

— Double lung transplant

1999 — Laparoscopic kidney donor surgery

2005 — Combined heart-double lung transplant kidney paired donation

2006 — One of very few sites in North America approved to process pancreatic islet cells for transplantation that may cure type 1 diabetes

2006 — Fourth institution in the country certified to implant the temporary CardioWest™ Total Artificial Heart, which serves as a bridge to transplant

2011 — Islet cell transplant

— Six-way kidney transplant – largest living donor kidney transplant chain performed in Ohio to date

2016 — Lung-kidney transplant (only 37 performed is U.S. since 1995)

2016 — One of only 20 centers nationwide chosen to participate in the NOVEL clinical trial with XVIVO Perfusion, potentially doubling the donor pool of lungs for transplantation

2017 Split liver transplant

2018 — Living donor liver transplant (one of two locations able to perform in Ohio)

2018 One of a select few transplant centers currently involved in the normo thermic ex-vivo liver perfusion clinical phase study


Ken Washburn, MD, executive director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center and division director for transplantation surgery, provides an overview of the program’s growth, as well as Ohio State’s approach to training.

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