Welcome to the Emory Healthcare Transplant Center Blog

We’re delighted to be the next Emory Healthcare medical department to join the “Advancing Your Health” blog.

Our posts will be authored by physicians, patients, and staff, and our blog content will consist of recent Emory Transplant Center medical innovations, patient success stories, videos, educational pieces, and newsworthy events.

The Transplant Center has pioneered many firsts in the transplant field, including Georgia’s first kidney transplant in 1966, and its first lung transplant in 1993. We offer transplantation programs for the Hand, Heart, Islet, Kidney, Liver, Lung and Pancreas.

For us, the Transplant Center blog is an ideal opportunity to create a dialogue with our community—we strongly encourage you to join the conversation and share your comments, questions and stories with us. Also, if there are specific topics that you’d like for us to cover, please be sure to let us know.

We look forward to connecting with you and hearing your feedback!

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  • Deborah

    How long is the average wait for a liver transplant? My research is telling me that the mortality rate in MELD scores higher then 10 is pretty high, less then one year and requires a longer hospital stay because of complications. What is the average MELD score for your patients on the waiting list to receive a liver? Who makes sure the livers are going to the people with the highest MELD scores and will one of the doctors be advocating and keeping on top of ill patents with MELD scores in the 35+ range to make sure they are not passed over for a new liver? Thank you for your time.

    • Liver transplant waiting times depend on multiple factors including one’s blood type, size and whether or not specialized treatment is needed during the evaluation process, such as interval cancer treatment, alcohol rehabilitation or other factors that may delay placement of the patient on the waiting list. That being said, our patients with MELD scores over 20 typically wait about 2-3 months. Most of our patients are transplanted at MELD scores of 20-25. If a patient has a quite high MELD score, they usually come to us that ill already. There is no need to list a patient with a MELD of < 15 as all local organs are offered regionally and nationally before being made available to one with a lower MELD.

      There is no need for a liver transplant patient to have an advocate to be transplanted in the appropriate order. DonorNet (electronic organ placement system) increases transparency and pretty much puts an end to Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) calling programs to place organs. A patient with a 35+ MELD, very unusual in our program, will be under our watchful eyes since they will almost certainly be hospitalized. Hope this is helpful.

  • mike

    While technologies concerned with making liver transplants have greatly improved, we have a lack of people who are willing to donate livers after death. I hope there is more awareness in this area… as technology can make the process safer and more successful… ppl. need to be aware that donation is most important.