Unc Hospitals Completes First Domino Liver Transplant In Decades

Chirag Desai, MD, FACS, and his team at the UNC School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery have successfully performed a rare domino liver transplant at UNC Hospitals. This is the first time in twenty years that this type of procedure has been conducted at the hospital. The 12-hour-long surgery took place in early November and follows another milestone for the team, who performed a successful rare living donor liver transplant in May.

The domino liver transplant involved removing a liver from a deceased donor and transplanting it into a patient with a metabolic disorder. The recipient’s liver, which was otherwise healthy, was then transplanted into a second patient with cirrhosis. This innovative procedure is made possible by a changing policy that has made livers harder to obtain, leaving many patients waiting in desperation. The success of this surgery highlights the potential of these types of transplants for patients who would otherwise have little chance of receiving a liver within the next three months.

The surgery itself is technically challenging, requiring extra care and precision to preserve the liver for insertion into the second recipient. However, the team was able to complete the procedure without the need for any blood transfusions. Both patients have since recovered from the surgery and are enjoying improved quality of life. These groundbreaking procedures not only provide North Carolina residents with access to cutting-edge technologies but also offer hope to patients in need of liver transplants.

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