LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New and innovative
programs to obtain donor organs have the potential to revolutionize kidney
transplantation. At UCLA, for example, transplant experts are studying a
program they call "living donor swap."
This program enables the relative or friend of a kidney-transplant
patient who is not compatible as a donor to "swap" organs with another
potential donor who also may be an incompatible match for his or her
relative or friend. This greatly broadens the pool of organs available from
"Swapping organs makes sense in such cases," says Albin Gritsch, M.D.,
In the case of a "living donor swap," both transplants are done
simultaneously, Dr. Gritsch explains. Advances in living-donor-transplant
technology make the surgery less invasive and the pain easier to manage.
UCLA has been among the pioneers in the field of kidney
transplantation, and consistently ranks among the top five centers
nationally. Currently, about two-thirds of kidney transplants are performed
with organs taken from deceased donors, explains UCLA nephrologist Alan
Wilkinson, M.D., and the wait can often be as long as five years, making
living-donor transplantation an attractive alternative. Living donors,
often family or friends of the transplant patient, currently account for
about one third of cases.
The door to increasing living-donor transplantation also has been
opened wider with pioneering surgical techniques, including laparoscopic
harvesting of donor kidneys, which results in less pain and a quicker
recovery, notes Gabriel Danovitch, M.D., director of Kidney and
Kidney/Pancreas Transplantation at UCLA.
To view a video about an actual living donor kidney transplant, go to
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SOURCE University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences