Enhancing Possibilities With Liver Transplants

Renae Field, a resident of Omro, recently underwent a challenging liver transplant procedure at Froedtert Hospital, the academic medical center of the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network. Renae had been waiting for a liver transplant for six years, but her case was complicated by liver cancer, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Despite these challenges, physicians at Froedtert Hospital used advanced technology to successfully perform the transplant. Renae’s journey to better health began in 2017 when she was diagnosed with non-alcohol-related steatohepatitis (NASH), a form of liver cirrhosis. A subsequent biopsy revealed liver cancer, which often develops due to cirrhosis.

To treat Renae’s liver cancer, Dr. William Rilling, a vascular and interventional radiologist, used a nontraditional chemotherapy technique called transarterial chemoembolization (TACE). This innovative treatment involves injecting drugs directly into the artery that supplies blood to the tumor. Dr. Rilling explained that this technique helps trap the drugs inside the liver, leading to shrinkage of the tumor and potentially eliminating all live tumor cells.

After a long wait, Renae finally received a new liver in May 2023. Dr. Raj Prasad, a hepatobiliary and liver transplant surgeon, led the complex surgery, which involved perfusing the donor liver with nutrient-enriched and oxygenated blood to ensure its functionality prior to transplantation. Renae was discharged six days after the surgery and has reported feeling much better overall, despite some lingering fatigue. Renae expressed her gratitude for her caring and skilled medical team, and credited them with navigating her numerous health challenges.

The collaborative approach to patient care at Froedtert Hospital was crucial in Renae’s successful outcome. Dr. Kia Saeian, a hepatologist, emphasized the importance of managing the complex needs of patients like Renae before and after transplantation. The Froedtert & MCW Liver Transplant Program, one of only three such programs in Wisconsin, has a reputation for exceptional patient care and expertise in utilizing perfusion technology to make more livers available for transplantation, including marginal organs. Renae’s case is a testament to the program’s success in overcoming organ shortages and achieving positive outcomes.

Help improve our content system

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

Share this story:

Transplant News
Transplant News

Transplant News brings you the news and content that matters to the transplant community. From patient stories, to the latest in transplant innovation, Transplant News is your window into the world of transplantation.