The University of Colorado Hospital Transplant Center has performed the state's first-ever double-lung and liver transplant surgery.
The patient, a 30-year-old Nebraska man with Cystic Fibrosis, has been cared for by the UCH pulmonary and hepatology teams for many years. Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs, and the disease also severely damaged this patient's liver.
After about nine months on the transplant wait list, Donor Alliance identified matching lungs and liver organs for the patient, and a combined liver/lung team recovered the organs and brought them to UCH.
"The lung transplant team and liver transplant team worked closely together to accomplish this great success," said Dr. Igal Kam, Transplant Surgical Director for the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH). "The surgery went smoothly, and this sets the stage for performing this rare, but important surgery at our hospital in the future. Most importantly, this surgery will significantly improve the quality and life expectancy of this patient."
Dr. Michael Weyant, UCH cardiothoracic surgeon, led the lung transplant team, and Dr. Kam led the liver transplant team in the 12-hour surgery. The patient is doing well and is expected to spend the next few weeks recovering at the hospital.
"As the only hospital in our region able to provide lung transplants, University of Colorado Hospital is able to care for Cystic Fibrosis patients throughout the full course of this devastating disease," said Weyant. "We perform a large number of lung transplants and liver transplants each year, but combining the two transplants into the same surgery is rare, and this will enable the patient to recover more quickly and get back to his life."