The Liberty Science Center will give next-gen healthcare heroes an up-close virtual experience of what it’s like to be a doctor performing a major surgery. The free virtual, interactive class, “Live From Surgery: Kidney Transplant,” which is hosted by Varsity Tutors, shows kids from grades 6 through 12 how a donor kidney is removed, prepared for transplantation, taken to an adjacent operating room, and transplanted into a recipient on Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Alejandro Melendez, the Distance Learning Specialist at LSC who facilitates the Live From Surgery Program, as well as the STEM virtual programs, is teaching the class along with Caroline Nowak, a part-time Distance Learning Specialist at LSC.

Melendez holds a B.S. in Biology with proficiency in Medical Spanish from the University of Scranton. Nowak facilitates the Live From Surgery Program, as well as the STEM virtual programs. She is also an experienced EMT of six years and began her journey at LSC through an internship.

“When you’re watching the surgery, you’re seeing everything magnified through a laparoscopic camera,” says Melendez. “We explain to students the approach to this kind of surgery and give them some anatomy background before jumping in to the surgery itself.”

While other surgeries are showcased, kidney transplants are among the most popular classes from the Live From Surgery Program due to their frequency. Even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Live From Surgery gets a lot of schools that connect with the program virtually. Kidney transplants have been featured on Live From Surgery since 2004. The live series as a whole began in 1998 and remains one of LSC’s marque programs.

“Students are seeing people receive the gift of life and getting a second by receiving the organ they need,” says Melendez. “I feel like that adds another level of impact and a human aspect to it.”

The surgery itself has three main phases. In phase one, you will see a kidney being harvested out of a living donor and see some of the anatomy inside, learn about what needs to be harvested on top of the kidney, and the three structures that the kidney needs to go with: the artery, vein, and ureter.

The second phase happens immediately after the first. The kidney is removed, cleaned up, and prepared for transplantation.

For the third and final phase, you will see how the actual donor kidney is transplanted into the recipient. This includes connecting the artery and vein from the donor kidney to the recipient’s blood vessels. Towards the end of the program, you will see the kidney jumpstart to function and begin to produce urine.

“What I hope students can take out of this program is to become more aware of organ donations,” says Melendez. “Organ donation is always in high demand. Unfortunately, here in the U.S., we can only do so many surgeries and sometimes there are people that wait many years on waiting lists. By raising awareness, we can make a difference in someone’s life by signing up and becoming an organ donor.”

While humans are born with two kidneys, it is still possible for the body to function with just one. Up to 170 gallons of water are filtrated through the kidneys every day along with 150 quarts of blood. The kidneys are working non-stop, but when you’re missing one, the other has to make a larger effort to compensate and even grows in size to help accommodate this.

Parental guidance is strongly suggested for this program as the class will feature a transplant where surgical imagery and video will be displayed. Registration is free at

Transplant News Sharing // “Kidney Transplants” – Google News from Source

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