Cutting Edge Transplantation
The Transplant Team at Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) continues to look for ways to offer kidney transplantation to as many patients as possible as the preferred form of renal replacement therapy for patients with kidney failure. Two factors can limit the opportunity for a live donor kidney transplant. One is if there is not a suitable donor of the same or compatable ABO blood type. Another factor is if the transplant recipient has formed antibodies from a previous transfusion, transplant or prenancy that makes matching difficult. At SBUH, a protocol has been developed to reduce the levels of antibodies in patients and modulate the immune system with a combination of monoclonal antibody plus immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis treatments to allow safe and successful kidney transplantation in patients with high antibody levels and where the ABO blood type is not considered traditionally compatable. This allows us, in carefully selected situations, to overcome these biological barriers. In other situations, SBUH has joined an organized effort to pursue live paired donor kidney exchanges. Here doctors try to match people who need a kidney transplant and have a live donor with a bioological barrier to relatives or friends who are potential donors for other transplant seekers with a similar problem to see if a kidney exchange is feasible.
To date we have performed several successful ABO incompatable donor transplants, as well as positive crossmatch kidney transplants.
SBUMC Patient Receives A Special Birthday Gift: A New Kidney And Restored Health
Renal Transplant Surgeon Dr. Frank Darras Performs Operation
STONY BROOK, N.Y., June 19, 2009 – After suffering for years with diabetes and high blood pressure, Charlie Wright was not sure if he would ever feel healthy again. But the Central Islip, N.Y., resident received a unique gift a few days shy of his 69th birthday – a new kidney. On May 23, 2009, Dr. Frank S. Darras, a renal transplant surgeon at Stony Brook University Medical Center, performed the kidney transplantation. Within days, Mr. Wright began to feel better and talked about how the “birthday gift” was changing his life for the better.
Before his kidney transplant, Mr. Wright’s condition had progressively worsened. The ordeal of needing dialysis three times a week, four hours each time, was wearing on him. In 2005, his kidney specialist had referred him to the Kidney Transplantation Service at SBUMC. He was placed on the national list for a kidney transplant.
The patient had been routinely examined and evaluated by the Stony Brook kidney transplant team for the past four years. When a kidney became available shortly after Mr. Wright’s latest evaluation, Dr. Darras and colleagues promptly planned the transplantation.
“Mr. Wright is a great example that older patients can be excellent kidney transplant candidates if they take care of themselves,” says Dr. Darras. “The transplantation went smoothly and all roads point to a fully functioning kidney and an improved life for Mr. Wright.”
“It is a joy to be able to drink a lot of water, something I could not do when I was on dialysis,” says Mr. Wright, noting that even the simple things in life are now great gifts.
Dr. Darras, a surgeon at SBUMC since 2004, has performed more than 500 kidney transplants during his career, including approximately 200 at SBUMC.
The Kidney Transplantation Service at SBUMC is the most active renal transplant program on Long Island. Approximately 1,100 transplants have been performed since the program began in 1981, including 79 in 2008. The Kidney Transplantation Service is in the top 20 percent of kidney transplant programs nationwide by patient volume.
SBUMC DEPARTMENT OF UROLOGY RANKED AS TOP NATIONAL PROGRAM IN US NEWS & WORLD REPORT “AMERICA’S BEST HOSPITALS” LISTING
The Department Rises to #32 of 50 Best Urology Programs
STONY BROOK, NY, July 16, 2009 – The Department of Urology at Stony Brook University Medical Center is again ranked among the top 50 in the “America’s Be st Hospitals” August 2009 issue of U.S. News & World Report. This is the second time SBUMC an d the Department has received the distinction as one of the best urology programs nationwide, joining the ranks of institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, and the Mayo Clinic. The 2009-10 listing of America’s Best Hospitals is online at http://www.usnews.com/besthospitals and on newsstands.
SBUMC was one of only four hospitals highlighted in New York State and the only Long Island hospital so ranked in Urology. The program had the second highest survival rate out of the top 50 programs included on the ranking list in that category. The Department was ranked 48th in the 2007 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue.
“Our being named to the top 50 list and our rise to number 32 nationally is a reflection of the high quality of care provided to patients by our doctors, nurses, and clinical support staff,” says Wayne C. Waltzer, M.D., Professor and Chair, who was part of the team that performed the first kidney transplant on Long Island more than 25 years ago. “Our outstanding score in the Mortality Index category was the key component to our high ranking.”
According to U.S. News, & World Report, the Mortality Index indicates a hospital’s ability to keep patients alive. An index of 1.00 means the hospital’s number of actual and expected deaths were the same. An index below 1.00 indicates that fewer deaths than expected occurred. The Stony Brook program had an index of 0.23, which was lower than all of the top 10 Urology programs nationwide and the other New York State institutions on the list.
Led by Dr. Waltzer, SBUMC Urology provides sophisticated care for a wide variety of advanced urological problems. With 10 full-time faculty, it comprises the largest urologic practice on Long Island and includes sub-specialty physicians in Oncologic Urology, Pediatric Urology, Endourology/Stone Disease, Robotics, Laparoscopy/Minimally Invasive Surgery, Sexual Dysfunction, Male Infertility, Female Urology/Voiding Dysfunction, Reconstructive Surgery and Renal Transplantation.
The Department incorporates the use of high-tech instrumentation for diagnostic and surgical care, including the da Vinci® S HD™ Surgical System, purchased by SBUMC in 2007 to enhance the approach to minimally invasive and difficult surgical procedures. The Department also provides a Kidney Transplantation Service that is the most active renal transplant program on Long Island. Approximately 1,100 transplants have been performed since the program began in 1981 under Dr. Waltzer. The service is in the top 20 percent of kidney transplant programs nationwide by patient volume.
Departmental faculty members are board eligible/certified and most are fellowship trained at elite institutions. The latest advances in scientific research and technologic innovation keep Stony Brook Urology at the forefront of clinical and academic practice. The faculty makes every effort to provide its services to the Long Island Community and recognizes a special obligation to care for children, the elderly and the disabled. The Department established a Prostate Care Program 14 years ago, which conducts free cancer screenings each month in satellite offices and at scheduled events throughout the community
“This national recognition and top ranking of our Department of Urology in ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ is well-deserved because Dr. Waltzer and his team provide outstanding patient care at all levels,” says Steven L. Strongwater, M.D., CEO, Stony Brook University Medical Center. “The Department serves as a practice model for many of our growing patient care services.”
According to U.S. News & World Report, 4,861 hospitals nationwide were analyzed for the 2009-10 listing of America’s Best Hospitals. In its 20th year, the guide is the most extensive ranking to date and is an evaluation centered on complex and demanding medical situations rather than routine care. Only 174 hospitals scored high enough to be ranked in even one of the 16 specialties, such as Urology, Cancer, Heart and Heart Surgery, and Digestive Disorders. The rankings were produced by RTI International, a leading research organization.
About Stony Brook University Medical Center
Stony Brook University Medical Center is the only academic medical center on Long Island. It comprises Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Stony Brook University Hospital, which is the only tertiary care hospital and Level 1 trauma center in Suffolk County. With 540 beds and 5,100 employees, it is the largest hospital in Suffolk County. The Heart Center performs the only open-heart surgery in Suffolk and the Cancer Center and Cerebrovascular Center attract patients from throughout the region with cutting edge diagnostic and treatment facilities. Stony Brook is home to Long Island’s first kidney transplantation program which has performed over 1,100 transplants, and initiated the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. The hospital is also the regional referral center for trauma, perinatal and neonatal intensive care, burns, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pediatric/adult AIDS, and is the regional resource center for emergency management. Stony Brook’s Stroke program is certified by the Joint Commission and the NYS Department of Health; and, Stony Brook is home to the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities and Long Island’s first comprehensive ALS Center.
The Department of Urology at Stony Brook University Medical Center is ranked among the top Urology programs nationwide in the “America’s Best Hospitals” August 2009 issue of U.S. News & World Report. The program is ranked 32nd of 50 top programs. Led by Dr. Wayne Waltzer, Chair (third from left), the Department comprises the largest urologic practice and the most active renal transplant program on Long Island. Also pictured is Dr. Rahuldev Bhalla (center), another of the department’s 10 full-time faculty.
Credit: Jeff Williams/Lewis Communications.