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Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi passes 150 organ transplant milestone

ABU DHABI, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, has reached a milestone of performing more than 150 transplants since the introduction of its multi-organ transplant program in 2017.

The UAE’s sole multi-organ transplant center, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, performed the UAE’s first heart, liver, lung and pancreas transplants. In addition, the hospital’s transplant center recently began performing complex dual transplant surgeries, the first in the UAE. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has now performed 82 kidney transplants, 52 liver transplants, 10 heart transplants, 6 lung transplants, 3 combined pancreas and kidney transplants and a combined kidney and liver transplant.

“It is humbling to see the life-changing impact our transplant program has had on patients and their families across the UAE. That we have reached this 150 transplant milestone during Cleveland Clinic’s centennial year is a fantastic acknowledgement of the legacy of innovation and patient-centered care we are continuing here in Abu Dhabi. When we opened our doors just five years ago, we couldn’t have imagined our transplant program would have touched so many lives this quickly,” said Dr. Bashir Sankari, Director of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s transplant program.

Despite growing numbers of registered organ donors, demand continues to outpace supply and there remains a long waiting list of patients who require a transplant. In order to mitigate the impact of this and offer a fresh lifeline to patients waiting for a new liver, the hospital’s multidisciplinary transplant team worked with their colleagues at Cleveland Clinic in the United States to introduce complex living related liver transplants that enable relatives to donate part of their liver to family members in need.

The introduction of living related liver donation has meant that 22 patients have been able to access life-saving transplants without needing to wait for a compatible donor organ to become available. The impact of this introduction has spread beyond the UAE, with patients travelling from abroad to access living related transplant services. Recently, a 14-year-old patient travelled to Abu Dhabi from Sudan so that he could receive part of his brother’s liver.

“The introduction of living related liver donation has been a huge boost to some of the country’s sickest patients. We are building on that success with the introduction of combined organ transplants that see patients receive two new organs in a single surgery. We are very proud to be among just a handful of centers in the world able to offer this highly complex level of care that has the ability to completely transform a patient’s life, particularly when a pancreas transplant frees a patient from the need for daily insulin injections,” said Dr. Luis Campos, Director of the Liver Transplant Program and head of hepatobiliary surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Surgeons at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi performed the UAE’s first pancreas transplant in a combined operation that also saw a young woman receive a new kidney. Following the successful surgery, the patient is no longer reliant on insulin injections to control her blood sugar and has effectively been cured of her diabetes. Since her operation, two more patients have received combined kidney and pancreas transplants. Surgeons at the hospital also performed the nation’s first combined liver and kidney transplant.

“Caregivers from across Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi come together to form the backbone of our multidisciplinary transplant program. Their and our donors’ contributions to the health and future of our community cannot be overstated. Each successful operation is another person who can return home to his or her life and family, and I am so proud of every caregiver who helps to make that happen,” concluded Dr. Sankari.

Source: Emirates News Agency