October 18, 2018
New UPMC Liver Transplant Clinic in Williamsport Evaluates Local Patients with Liver Disease
There are close to 14,000 people in the United States currently on the liver transplant waiting list, and around 25 percent of those on that list will succumb to their disease before receiving a life-saving transplant. Now, residents of northcentral Pennsylvania with end-stage liver disease have a new option for liver transplant evaluation with the opening of the UPMC Liver Transplant Evaluation Clinic at UPMC Susquehanna.
“With the new evaluation clinic, we are providing patients in our communities with access to the country’s leading experts in living-donor liver transplants close to home,” said Steven P. Johnson, president, UPMC Susquehanna. “The clinic is just one of the many life-changing and life-saving services UPMC has helped bring to northcentral Pennsylvania since our affiliation in October of 2016.”
UPMC Susquehanna is the only health system in the region offering patients access to the living donor program for liver transplant. Through living donation, UPMC transplant surgeons have saved the lives of hundreds of patients who might have otherwise died while waiting on the transplant list or may not have qualified for the list at all.
The clinic at UPMC Susquehanna will offer a range of pre-liver transplant evaluation services, including:
- Blood tests
- Diagnostic tests
- Radiology and diagnostic imaging services
- Consults and exams
- Ongoing education
The clinic is led by Swaytha Ganesh, MD, medical director, UPMC Living Donor Program, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, who will see patients at UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport, 700 High St., Williamsport.
The Liver Transplant Evaluation Clinic at UPMC Susquehanna will provide transplant evaluations and information about living-donor liver transplants for patients with chronic liver disease. Working closely with Dr. Ganesh, Puneet Basi, MD, hepatologist and gastroenterologist from UPMC Susquehanna, will be the primary physician managing chronic liver disease patients in the northcentral region for UPMC.
“UPMC believes no one should die waiting for a liver transplant,” Dr. Ganesh said. “Living-donor liver transplant is possible for virtually every person on the waiting list and those patients with a novel diagnosis preventing them from being placed on that waiting list. As pioneers in the field of liver transplant, UPMC is on a mission to make everyone aware of this life-saving procedure, one in which we offer as a first-line option rather than the last resort.”
In 2017, UPMC led the nation in living-donor liver transplants, and was the only center in the country to perform more living-donor than deceased-donor liver transplants. During a living-donor liver transplant, a living person has a piece of their healthy liver removed and transplanted into another person to replace an unhealthy liver. These transplants are possible because of the liver’s unique ability to regenerate, or regrow.
Living-donor liver transplant provides a viable alternative to the waiting list, with improved outcomes compared with deceased-donor liver transplants. Living-donor liver transplants offer potentially lifesaving benefits, including:
- Little or no wait time
- Quicker recovery time
- Improved long-term outcomes
- Reduced wait list mortality
For more information about the UPMC Liver Transplant Evaluation Clinic at UPMC Susquehanna, please call 1-844-UPMC-LIVER or visit UPMC.com/LiverTransplant.