UCLA Program Aims to Revolutionize Kidney Transplants

Aug 10, 2007, 01:00 ET from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

    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
 living donors.
     "Swapping organs makes sense in such cases," says Albin Gritsch, M.D.,
 UCLA urologist.
     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
     This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise(TM). For more
 information, visit http://www.newswise.com.

SOURCE University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences