New Kidney Transplant Clinic opens at UPMC Williamsport

Amit Tevar

From staff reports

WILLIAMSPORT– Close to 26 million people in the United States suffer from kidney disease and over 100,000 are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Now, residents of northcentral Pennsylvania with end-stage kidney disease have a new option for kidney transplant with the opening of the UPMC Kidney Transplant Clinic at UPMC Susquehanna.

“Through this clinic, we’re able to help kidney transplant patients stay close to their homes and support system,” said Steven P. Johnson, president, UPMC Susquehanna. “UPMC has one of the nation’s most active and experienced kidney transplant programs, and our evaluation clinic in Williamsport is bringing that expertise to the region.”

Through living donation, UPMC transplant surgeons have saved the lives of thousands of patients who might have otherwise died while waiting on the transplant list or may not have qualified for the list at all.

“This clinic brings the expertise of the UPMC transplant team to the region and will allow patients to be seen and evaluated by the same transplant surgeons and nephrologists that they would see in Pittsburgh,” said Amit Tevar, MD, director of kidney and pancreas transplant at UPMC. “We look forward to working with patients, local nephrologists and UPMC Susquehanna in providing advanced and efficient access to transplant to the patients in the area.”

Martin Wijkstrom

The Kidney Transplant Clinic at UPMC Susquehanna, which opened on April 5, is located at UPMC Williamsport Regional Medical Center, 700 High St., Williamsport, and will offer a range of pre-kidney transplant evaluation services, including:

– Blood tests

– Diagnostic tests

– Radiology and diagnostic imaging services

– Ongoing education

The clinic will provide transplant evaluations and information about living-donor kidney transplants for patients with kidney disease. UPMC will work closely with Sam Stea, MD, nephrologist from West Branch Nephrology Associates, Ltd.

“Our goal is to provide easy access to the same state-of-the-art transplant care that we are currently providing to the residents of western Pennsylvania,” said Martin Wijkstrom, MD, director, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute Fellowship Program. “We will leverage the local resources to perform timely evaluations of transplant candidates. By being able to project our UPMC resources to the local communities, we aim to improve the quality of life for end-stage renal disease patients and their families.”

During a living-donor kidney transplant, a living person has a kidney removed and transplanted into another person to replace an unhealthy kidney. These transplants are possible because a person only needs one healthy kidney to live a full and productive life.

Living-donor kidney transplant provides a viable alternative to the waiting list, with improved outcomes compared with deceased-donor liver transplants. Living-donor kidney transplants offer potentially lifesaving benefits, including:

– Little or no wait time

– Quicker recovery time

– Improved long-term outcomes

– Reduced wait list mortality

For more information about the UPMC Kidney Transplant Evaluation Clinic at UPMC Susquehanna, please call 1-877-640-6746 or visit UPMC.com/KidneyTransplant.

About UPMC’s transplant programs

UPMC’s transplant programs are among the world’s largest and are internationally renowned for their influence on the field of transplantation. For more than 30 years, UPMC has provided care to adult and pediatric transplant patients through the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, the UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, and the Children’s Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation.

Today, UPMC has performed more than 20,500 transplants, including heart, lung, intestinal, kidney, liver, pancreas and multiple-organ transplants, along with heart assist device implantation. A pioneer in the development and refinement of new transplant procedures, UPMC is committed to reducing waiting list deaths through robust living-donor kidney and living-donor liver transplant programs, as well as other innovative methods to expand the donor pool.

UPMC also partners with the University of Pittsburgh to advance basic science and clinically applied research, as well as to support the teaching and training of transplant specialists worldwide.

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