Triple transplant a world first
27 June 2006
A team of surgeons at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital have achieved a world first with a successful kidney, liver and pancreas transplant.
Led by Sydney University Professor of Transplant Surgery, Richard Allen who is Director of the RPA's Transplant Unit, the surgical team planned hard to successfully execute the complicated 10 hour surgery.
The 33 year old patient, Leanne Myles, is now in good health and is expected to live a full life despite having been close to dying last year due to effects of an auto-immune disease which destroyed her organs.
Since the liver and pancreas are normally joined by the bile duct and the portal vein, the surgical team decided that this relationship should be maintained in the transplant. It is hoped that this new technique will open up opportunities for other surgeons to perform new types of transplants.
'Leanne's kidneys, her pancreas and her liver worked from the very minute we put them in and they haven't stopped working, and our expectation is they'll work for many, many years,' said Professor Allen.
Professor Allen went on to say that unfortunately the shortage of donors is holding his team and others back from performing similar surgeries on patientsthat desperately need transplants, with around 20 per cent of patients on the transplant waiting list dying each year.
'The problem is that 50 per cent of families say not to organ donation after their loved ones have passed away,' said Professor Allen.
Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy
Phone: Ph: + 61 2 9351 4312 or M: 0421 617 861