The Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center, one of the nation's leaders in solid organ transplantation, performed its 5,000th liver transplant on Sept. 26, 2010, making it only the second program in the world to reach this milestone.
A "Red Letter Day" to celebrate this high point was held on campus Oct. 12.
The operating room team was lead by Dr. Ronald W. Busuttil, distinguished professor and executive chairman of the Department of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and chief of the division of liver and pancreas transplantation. The patient was a Los Angeles-area man in his late 50s. Busuttil, an internationally renowned liver surgeon who also serves as the director of the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center and the Dumont-UCLA Liver Cancer Center, noted that a team-based, multidisciplinary approach provides the highest level of care for patients. As a result, his team includes well over 100 dedicated surgeons, physicians, nurses and other professionals.
"These 5000 liver transplants reflect the work of our incredibly dedicated team here at UCLA and also underscore the importance of organ donation for the many thousands of patients who await the gift of life," Busuttil said. "I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished together thus far--saving lives. That's what it's all about."
The liver transplant team members wore red, including t-shirts under their scrubs.
The hospital marked the milestone with a commemorative three-minute video with images of the patients and team through the years on the program's Web site, a giant balloon arch over the Medical Plaza pedestrian walkway, buttons with "Red Letter Day" logos, and treats for patients and visitors.
This year alone the program's surgeons have performed more than 200 liver transplants. Nearly 600 patients are on the UCLA waiting list.
The UCLA liver transplant program, one of the first five in the nation, was established in 1984 by Dr. Busuttil, who has directed the program from its inception. Since that time, the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center has developed into one of the largest and most respected programs in the world in the areas of research, education and patient care.
Housed in the Pfleger Liver Institute, the Dumont-UCLA Transplant Center combines innovative surgical technique, advances in immunosuppressive drugs and multidisciplinary clinical care to save the lives of thousands of adults and children with end-stage liver disease. The program has trained over 250 transplant surgeons and physicians, many of whom currently lead top centers in the US and abroad.
For more information, visit the liver transplant program's Web site or call (310) 825-5318.