Thursday, April 12, 2018

Re-transplanting an organ that survives its recipient

From UCLA (where Dr. Jeff Veale is innovating):
‘Re-gifting’ of previously transplanted kidneys extends life for new recipients
Approach could help people who might not otherwise receive a transplant

"Typically, previously transplanted kidneys are lost to future use when the first recipient dies. But Dr. Jeffrey Veale, a transplant surgeon at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center who has performed the rare surgery three times, maintains that re-donating previously transplanted kidneys should become standard practice.
"Veale sums up the re-gift this way: One kidney helped three people live.

“In the United States about 25 percent of those who receive a donated kidney die while their kidney transplant is still functional,” said Veale, director of the UCLA Kidney Exchange Program. “Re-gifting that viable organ to another patient on the waiting list gives new hope to patients who otherwise may not be considered for a transplant.”

With a re-gifted kidney, people who had been reliant on dialysis for years could live normal lives, spending time with their loved ones, traveling or doing anything else that people who aren’t on dialysis may take for granted.

Each year in the U.S., less than 20 percent of patients on the United Network for Organ Sharing kidney transplant waiting list will receive a transplant, and 13 people on that list die each day. If transplanting kidneys a second time were standard practice, it would open up a currently unutilized pool of donors."

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