PHOENIX —Mayo Clinic in Arizona has opened its lung transplant program and has completed two lung transplants, a milestone that now completes Mayo’s comprehensive solid organ transplant program, with ability to provide heart, kidney, pancreas, liver and now lung transplants.
Mayo received approval by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to launch a lung transplant program that will treat patients with serious pulmonary disorders, with the goal being to improve their longevity and quality of life. UNOS, the national nonprofit organization that oversees the U.S. organ transplant systems, signifies that a hospital program meets all the institutional and personnel requirements to perform lung transplants.
The lung transplant program is led by Octavio Pajaro, M.D., Ph.D., surgical director, and Ramachandra Sista, M.D., medical director. Together they lead a multidisciplinary team that also includes specialists in nursing, immunology, social work, respiratory therapy, pharmacy, dietary, transplant infectious diseases and other disciplines.
“An integrated, multidisciplinary team is necessary because potential lung transplant recipients can have multiple medical problems and need to undergo a complex operation—most often requiring transplantation of both lungs,” according to Dr. Pajaro. “The surgery requires two experienced surgical teams working in close communication to prepare, procure and transport the donor lungs safely, while the implanting team removes the diseased lungs and prepares the recipient for the actual transplantation.”
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Dr. Sista noted that “A multidisciplinary, advanced lung disease program is pivotal to drive a successful lung transplant program. It is critical that individuals with a variety of lung afflictions be referred to a dedicated lung transplant center, earlier rather than later, so they would not miss a chance for the necessary testing and a timely lung transplantation procedure, if deemed eligible.”
The addition of lung transplants at Mayo Clinic in Arizona supports the long-standing success of transplantation care for patients across Mayo’s three sites— Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.
Currently, more than 1,500 people in the U.S. are awaiting a lung transplant.
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