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Receiving a transplant can mean a new lease on life. That’s why patients come from all over the region and beyond to Indiana University Health Transplant for highly skilled surgeons and state-of-the-art operating facilities.
Indiana University Health Transplant provides the highest quality of care and range of services for patients needing a kidney, pancreas, liver, intestine/multivisceral, heart or lung transplant as well as patients with liver cancer, congenital heart disease, or heart failure who require a ventricular assist device.
The IU Health Transplant team offers individualized, ongoing care to patients, before and after transplant. From careful pre-transplant assessment to post-surgical monitoring, IU Health Transplant provides specialized clinical expertise in all related transplant services, offering:
- One of the most comprehensive transplant centers in the region
- One of the top ten transplant centers by volume in the United States
- The combined clinical expertise, research and teaching excellence of experienced physicians at IU Health Methodist Hospital, IU Health University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health
- Our expertise in the care of patients with end-stage organ disease or failure, transplant recipients, and living donors ensures the best possible outcomes.
- Transplant surgeons personally review each potential donor, resulting in shorter wait times for our patients and even more importantly, a better match
- A multidisciplinary team of transplant-specialized physician specialists, surgeons, pharmacists, RN coordinators, social workers, dietitians and others
- The highly skilled pediatric transplant team at IU Health provides comprehensive, specialized care for children
Together with the Indiana University School of Medicine, we provide unparalleled experience in transplant research and innovation. As a result, IU Health Transplant is changing lives.
IU Health is one of only a few healthcare systems in the country that performs intestine and multivisceral transplants. A multivisceral transplant is an intestine combined with two or more abdominal organs.
We performed the first isolated intestine transplant in Indiana in 2003 and the first multivisceral transplant in the state the same year. Ranked No. 4 in the nation by volume for intestinal transplant surgery in 2016, our experience and expertise, along with some of the most technologically advanced facilities, allow us to perform routine and complicated cases.
Our smallest patients receive the same innovative care from the pediatric transplant specialists at IU Health Transplant at Riley Children’s Health. The medical and surgical team is the only group performing pediatric intestine/multivisceral transplants in Indiana.
IU Health Transplant has unparalleled experience with both routine and complicated cases, including:
- Intestinal atresia
- Mid-gut volvulus
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- Hirschsprung’s disease
- Mesenteric venous thrombosis
- Short/small bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease/Crohn’s disease
- Gardner’s syndrome
- Complications of gastric bypass
- Neuroendocrine and Desmoid tumors
As a top-ranked transplant program, IU Health was the first in Indiana to perform a pancreas transplant and a simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplant, as well as the first in the world to perform a simultaneous lung/pancreas transplant. The IU Health pancreas transplant program has consistently been one of the top ranked programs in the nation by volume of pancreas transplants performed.
Our surgeons are proficient at handling transplant cases across the spectrum, particularly those presenting the most complex medical and surgical challenges. Pancreas transplantation is an important option for patients exhibiting type 1 diabetes with poorly controlled glucose levels and existing or impending end-stage renal disease. On average, our patients wait 6 months for a pancreas transplant – consistently less time than the national average.
The pancreas transplant team at IU Health meets one-on-one with patients and their families. These informative meetings give patients an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the transplant process.
The IU Health Liver Transplant Program offers a full spectrum of liver disease and transplant services for adults and children facing end-stage liver disease. We are nationally recognized for excellent outcomes and short wait times based on data released by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) in January 2017 – an average of 2.6 months vs. the U.S. 15.2-month average.
In 2016, we performed 160 liver transplants – 148 adult and 12 pediatric. The combined total is the highest volume in our five-state region, and we are the only liver transplant program in Indiana.
IU Health Transplant surgeons are committed to personally reviewing each potential donor and frequently travel across the country to visually assess livers declined by other transplant centers. These organs are often determined to be suitable for transplant. By increasing the number of organs transplanted and decreasing wait times, our patients often receive successful transplants before becoming extremely ill or debilitated.
Through a unique partnership with the IU Health Comprehensive Liver Oncology Program, patients with liver cancer and neuroendocrine tumors are offered individualized care plans to treat their primary or secondary liver cancer as well as assess eligibility for transplant.
We provide a full spectrum of liver disease and transplant services for adults and children with acute or chronic liver failure, primary liver malignancies and metabolic or genetic disorders, including:
- Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
- Viral Hepatitis, B and C
- Liver Cancer (selected cases)
- Alcoholic Liver Disease
- Autoimmune Liver Disease
- Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and Sclerosing Cholangitis
- Liver Cirrhosis of other causes
- Metabolic Diseases
The IU Health Transplant team is committed to helping patients with end-stage renal disease through every stage of the transplant experience. With more than 50 years of performing kidney transplants, we offer the most experience and the best three year outcomes of any program in the state.
Our unparalleled experience comes from performing over 200 kidney transplants each year. Our high volume translates to more patients helped and a transplant team prepared for the routine to the most complex cases. This includes performing difficult and high-risk kidney transplants including HIV positive recipients, Hepatitis C positive recipients, and offering desensitization services and paired donation to patients who are often deemed ineligible at other transplant centers.
Our Living Donor Champion Program offers patients the tools to assist them in identifying a living kidney donor. For those who have identified someone willing to donate, but are blood-type incompatible, we have extensive experience in paired donation within our own center and also work closely with nationally recognized paired donation programs. Paired donation provides the opportunity for patients to find the best matched donor.
IU Health offers kidney transplant outreach clinics in Merrillville, Mishawaka, Lafayette, Vincennes and Evansville to provide convenient pre-transplant and post-transplant care. A few of these clinics use advanced video-conferencing technology (telemedicine) to allow "tele-appointments" with IU Health Transplant specialists. Thanks to these clinics, many patients are able to limit their trips to Indianapolis to see an IU Health Transplant kidney specialist.
Living Kidney Donation
Living kidney donors save lives and help improve another person’s quality of life for years to come. While a potential donor frequently has a connection to the recipient – such as family or friend – a donor may not know the recipient at all. Non-directed donors come forward every year to donate because they feel called to help after learning about someone in need of a kidney transplant.
To learn more about living kidney donation and the dedicated team that supports living donors throughout their journey, please review our videos or living kidney donation guide.
To donate a kidney, the process begins by submitting a confidential online donor evaluation form or by calling an IU Health living donor nurse coordinator at 800.382.4602. All communication between the transplant center and a potential donor is confidential.
For more than 25 years, the Indiana University Health Thoracic Transplant team has performed lung transplants at IU Health Methodist Hospital. As the state's only lung transplant program, our extensive experience includes more than 800 patients transplanted. We performed 62 lung transplants in 2014 placing us among the top 10 programs nationally by volume.
Our program is constantly evolving to improve your transplant experience and ultimately improve survival rates. You are assigned a pre-transplant coordinator to help navigate the complex road leading to transplant. In a seamless transition, you are assigned a post-transplant coordinator for life to assist with any hurdles you may face following transplant. We also offer a rigorous pre-transplant conditioning program that includes both physical and respiratory therapies to help maximize survival rates.
Our newest facility, the Center of Life for Thoracic Transplant (COLTT), provides a space for transplant patients who are preparing for a procedure. The facility is conveniently located next to IU Health Methodist Hospital and the Advanced Heart and Lung Care Clinic. The area features a 300-foot indoor track, a variety of cardiovascular and weight-training equipment, a physical therapy room and a classroom for nutritional education and patient support. An oxygen room ensures that there is always plenty on-hand for lung patients, and the staff office overlooks the exercise space, so patients can be constantly monitored for their safety and well-being.
Treatment is indicated for patients suffering from end-stage lung disease due to any of the following lung conditions:
- Interstitial lung disease (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory, collagen vascular, occupational)
- Emphysema/COPD (including alpha-one antitrypsin deficiency)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary hypertension
As one of the few hospitals in Indiana to qualify under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to perform Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS), we’re helping patients with severe emphysema to breathe more easily.
Indiana University Health Heart Transplant has provided expertise in caring for heart failure patients for more than 30 years. Since the program’s inception in 1982, our surgeons have performed more than 650 adult cardiac transplants and taken on some of the most challenging heart failure cases. We provide a comprehensive range of therapies using a multidisciplinary approach, which allows our physicians to optimize treatment and outcomes for patients.
IU Health Transplant offers more advantages, including:
- An Advanced Heart Care Program on the forefront of clinical advancement in heart failure care, heart transplant and ventricular assist device (VAD) services. The program incorporates both inpatient and outpatient services that span the continuum of care for patients with advanced or recurrent heart failure, including collaboration between pharmacists, psychologists, dietitians, nurses, social workers, cardiologists and surgeons.
- A comprehensive lifetime care program to meet the ongoing medical needs of adults living with congenital heart disease. Our Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program is the only program in Indiana recognized by the Adult Congenital Heart Association. It offers access to complex diagnostic cardiac catheterization and trans-catheter interventions, as well as the latest technologies in valve replacement and defect closure devices.
Our smallest patients receive the same innovative care from the pediatric cardiothoracic transplant specialists at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Comprised of the divisions of Cardiovascular Surgery, Pediatric Cardiology and the Riley Heart Research Center, the Riley Heart Center at IU Health is internationally recognized as a leader in treating children with heart disorders. The cardiac medical and surgical team is the only group performing pediatric heart transplantation in Indiana.
Our team of healthcare professionals helps you prepare both emotionally and physically for surgery. A large integrated team works together to manage every aspect of your journey from transplant evaluation through post-transplant care. Highlights of the Heart Transplant Program include:
- Cardiologists who are dedicated to advanced heart failure care and heart transplant
- Cardiac surgeons experienced in advanced heart failure mechanical devices surgery and cardiothoracic transplant
- Experienced heart transplant coordinators who coordinate pre- and post-transplant care
- Transplant pharmacists
- Exclusive inpatient transplant unit dedicated to post-transplant care and all transplant-related conditions
Mechanical Circulatory Support
In addition to our history of many transplant “firsts,” we continue to refine many transplant techniques. We also care for the most complex adult and pediatric heart failure patients, providing lifesaving therapies to end-stage heart failure patients not available in most hospitals.
Our Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program has been helping heart transplant patients for over 25 years and serves as a national training site for physicians and other allied health providers. Certified by The Joint Commission for destination therapy since 2008, our program is actively involved in numerous clinical trials and offers a variety of options to meet your needs. Technological advances, including miniaturized, non-pulsatile assist devices, are routinely used to help many patients return to an active lifestyle.
Technological advancements have led to improved survival for patients at both one month and six months after transplant. Approximately 75 percent of heart transplant patients receive a VAD while waiting for their transplant. IU Health serves as a referral center for the state of Indiana, treating the most complex advanced heart care patients.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) provides cardiopulmonary bypass support for pediatric and adult patients with severe but potentially reversible forms of cardiovascular or respiratory failure. Initially introduced as a treatment for many childhood disorders, ECMO is also used as a bridge for adult patients with severe respiratory or cardiac failure to recovery from other surgical therapies.
Unique to IU Health, both the adult and pediatric ECMO programs are accredited by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).
ECMO is applied in two forms:
- Veno-venous ECMO for respiratory support
- Veno-arterial ECMO for cardiopulmonary support
The ECMO circuit includes a pump, oxygenator, tubing and vascular access. It continuously pumps your blood through an oxygenator that imitates the processes of the lungs. The blood is then re-infused into a major artery or vein, similar to cardiopulmonary bypass. Your thoracic surgeon performs cannulation, which connects your body to the ECMO machine. A team of surgeons, pulmonologists, perfusionists, respiratory therapists and specially trained nursing staff monitors you and your care.
The highly skilled pediatric transplant team at IU Health provides comprehensive, specialized care for children needing heart, intestine/multivisceral, liver and kidney transplants. IU Health physicians are committed to providing comforting, personable care to patients and their families throughout the entire process.
Specially trained coordinators and nurses ensure compassionate, quality care is provided during all aspects of treatment. If your child is believed to be a suitable candidate for a transplant, our dedicated care team will work with you and your family to determine the risks and benefits associated with the surgery.
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