Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine performed 246 organ transplants in 2016, the highest number it has recorded during the program’s 45-year history. Loyola also led all other Illinois centers in heart and lung transplants in 2016. Loyola performed 36 heart transplants, 40 lung transplants, 64 liver transplants and 106 kidney transplants in 2016. Loyola’s previous record year was 2013, when it performed 186 transplants.

Organ transplants nationally and in Illinois also experienced a record year in 2016. In Illinois, Loyola accounted for a large share of the state's increase. “The growth of our life-saving organ transplant program aligns with our triple aim of providing better health, better care and lower costs,” said Larry Goldberg, Loyola Medicine president and CEO. “We are proud of what we accomplished in 2016 and we will continue to put patients at the center of all we do.”

During one 22-hour period last fall, Loyola surgeons successfully transplanted 10 organs into six patients, including a double lung transplant, a single-lung transplant, a heart transplant, a second double-lung transplant, a liver-kidney transplant and an en bloc kidney transplant (two kidneys from one patient). “We are very experienced and we have a very deep bench,” said Edwin McGee, Jr., MD, executive director, solid organ transplant, and surgical director of Loyola’s heart transplant program. Loyola is one of only three centers in Illinois that perform transplants on all four of the major solid organs: heart, lung, kidney and liver. Loyola also is among the few centers that perform combination transplants, including heart-lung, heart-kidney, heart-liver, liver-kidney, lung-liver and lung-kidney. Loyola has received approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing to begin a pancreas transplant program in 2017. Loyola specialists employ a clinically integrated, evidence-based approach to care that leads to outstanding results. Loyola takes on the most challenging cases and provides second opinions to patients who have been turned down by other centers. Loyola also is expanding the donor pool and benefitting patients by accepting usable organs that may have been rejected by other centers. Heart: A 53-year-old man recently became the 800th patient to receive a heart transplant at Loyola. Loyola has performed more heart transplants than any other center in Illinois. The 36 heart transplants in 2016 were the most Loyola has performed since it began Illinois’ first heart transplant program in 1984. Even though Loyola takes on the most challenging cases, its one-month, one-year and three-year patient survival rates for heart transplants exceed national averages. Lung: For 29 years, Loyola has operated the largest and most successful lung transplant program in Illinois. Nearly 900 lung transplants—by far the most of any center in Illinois—have been performed and in 2016, Loyola’s 40 lung transplants were more than all other programs in Illinois combined. Loyola’s lung transplant program regularly evaluates and successfully performs transplants in patients who have been turned down by other centers in Chicago and surrounding states and consistently records outstanding outcomes. Liver: Loyola’s liver transplant program is one of the fastest growing programs in the country.In just four years, the number of liver transplants performed at Loyola more than quadrupled, from 14 in 2012 to 64 in 2016. The program makes it convenient for patients from throughout northern Illinois to see transplant specialists. Patients can see Loyola hepatologists and surgeons at Loyola’s main campus in Maywood and at Loyola Centers for Health in Burr Ridge, Elmhurst, Park Ridge, Homer Glen and Oakbrook, and at other practice sites in Naperville, Elk Grove Village, Rockford, Moline, Peoria, downtown Chicago and Chicago’s Chinatown. Another clinic is planned in Peru/Ottawa. Loyola offers the highest level of multidisciplinary, integrated care for liver disease and liver failure patients who may be considering a liver transplant. Kidney: Loyola’s organ transplant program began in 1971 when it performed its first kidney transplant. Since then, Loyola has performed more than 1,700 kidney transplants. The kidney transplant program recently was expanded with the addition of 10 clinical and administrative staffers. In 2016, Loyola performed 106 kidney transplants, breaking its previous record, and physicians expect to perform even more kidney transplants in 2017. Loyola has begun several initiatives to make kidney transplant an option for more patients. For example, Loyola launched a new kidney transplant clinic for Spanish-speaking patients and Loyola is participating in the Illinois Transplant Fund, which provides financial assistance to patients who cannot afford health insurance premiums. Loyola also joined a paired kidney donation program to help patients find matching living donors.