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Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center lung transplant program performs more transplants than any other program in 2012

Houston, TX - 2/4/2013

Lung transplant surgeons in the Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center  in Houston performed more transplants in 2012 than any other center in the country, making it the No. 1 lung transplant program in terms volume in the nation.

“We performed 143 lung transplants last year and the center performed a total of 462 transplants. The ability to perform this many lung transplants successfully is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our whole transplant team,” said Dr. Harish Seethamraju, medical director of the lung transplant program. “The skill, knowledge and experience of our entire team enable us to take on the most complicated cases.”

The Center has had a 95 percent 30-day survival rate for lung transplants for nearly three years.

"There are very few centers throughout the world that do as many lung transplants as we do with such high quality and positive outcomes,” said Dr. Matthias Loebe, chief of thoracic transplant and assist device division.  “We are proud of the fact that patients from all over the country come to Methodist for their transplants and that we are able to help them.”

Some of those cases involve Jehovah’s Witness patients who do not want blood transfusions during surgery.

“We have started performing bloodless transplants on these patients, most of whom have been refused transplantation at other institutions,” said Dr. Scott Scheinin, surgical director of the lung transplant program. “It’s rewarding to know that we have the kind of institution that will go the extra mile to successfully give these patients a second chance at life.”          

The lung transplant program at the Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center is among the largest in the U.S. and the only in the Houston area to earn a Bronze award from the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The award measures performance based on post-transplant survival rates, transplant rates and mortality rates after patients have been placed on the waiting list,” Seethamraju said. “Only 22 percent of transplant programs in the U.S. are given this award, so we are honored to be one of them.”

The program has nearly tripled the number of lung transplants performed in the past five years and is one of a handful of large programs in the country offering multi-organ transplants.

“The accomplishments of the lung transplant program took us from a medium-sized rapidly growing program to a large program,” said Dr. A. Osama Gaber, director of the Methodist J.C, Walter Jr. Transplant Center. “This is great news for people in our city and surrounding areas who are in desperate need of a lung transplant.”

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