Kidney Transplant Center Completes First Transplants
The members of the comprehensive team who make up the Crozer-Keystone Regional Kidney Transplant Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center began a new chapter in the health system’s history recently when they performed the health system’s first successful kidney transplants in Delaware County.
Crozer-Keystone’s first kidney transplant patient Roberto Rivera is flanked by transplant surgeons John A. Daller, M.D., and Cosme Manzarbeitia, M.D. Standing are team members, left to right, Sandra Kuserk, M.S., R.D., LDN, Alison Harris, M.S.W., L.S.W., Sarah Keiser, CRNP, Gerardo Lazaro, Dawn Jones, La’Vinia Pitts and Joan Gramlich.
For Roberto Rivera of Chester, who received his kidney transplant in September, going down in CKHS history is not important. The best part is that his health – and his life – is much better.
“I feel great. I’m so happy. I can eat more and I’m no longer on dialysis,” says Rivera. “I was very impressed by the kidney transplant team at Crozer. They were so professional and caring. They did a very good job.”
The 59-year-old Rivera, a former construction worker on disability, was suffering from end-stage renal disease for over a year. He was being treated by dialysis three days a week, taking him away from his family and hobbies. In fact, he was in Davita Upland dialysis center located on Crozer’s campus when the Kidney Transplant Center accepted an out-of-state organ offer. Rivera was literally steps away from receiving his “gift of life.”
The transplant procedure took less than four hours. Rivera was discharged a few days later and has enjoyed good health since. When he comes for his regular visits with the Kidney Transplant Center, he makes it a point to stop by the dialysis unit to tell staff and patients how well he is doing and how good he feels.
The day the first kidney transplant was performed was a busy one, to say the least, for the Kidney Transplant Center team. That’s because they also performed another deceased donor transplant on the same day. Throughout the day, multiple disciplinary teams worked simultaneously to ensure patient safety. The team has since performed a successful living donor transplant as well.
“That first day was both exciting and exhausting. It truly was a trial under fire, and I’m proud to say that everyone on our team, as well as everyone involved with the program throughout Crozer, performed with a very high level of expertise and professionalism. The entire medical center has worked together extremely well to ensure that our patients and their caregivers are very well cared for,” says John A. Daller, M.D., director of the Kidney Transplant Center. “As a program, we are building momentum, and I look forward to an outstanding future.”
Patrick Gavin, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Crozer-Keystone Health System as well as president of Crozer-Chester Medical Center, says, “Performing our first kidney transplants was an outstanding milestone for the medical center and it advances our reputation as a quaternary care facility. Kidney transplant surgery is exceedingly complex and requires close and constant attention to detail with a compassionate patient focus. Congratulations to our entire multidisciplinary team throughout Crozer for making these first transplants so successful.”
The Crozer-Keystone Kidney Transplant Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center is the newest UNOS-certified kidney transplant center in the Delaware Valley. But the Center’s team is one of the most experienced and highly skilled in the Delaware Valley, having cared for more than 1,000 transplant patients since 1995 with outstanding patient and graft survival rates at one year and beyond.
The team uses the latest technologies to perform transplant surgery, including minimally invasive surgery for living donors that includes fewer and smaller incisions to promote a faster and less painful healing process. Recognizing that transplant surgery is particularly complex and requires a life-long commitment to managing each patient’s recovery — as well as the crucial roles of the nephrologist, the primary care physician and, in most cases, dialysis professionals — the Center has developed a genuine multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Beginning with the evaluation process, continuing through the pre-transplant and transplant process, through recovery and life management, the Kidney Transplant Center team is committed to communication, consultation and physician support. Following the transplant, the Center’s team will work closely with physicians and nephrologists regarding necessary post-op and follow-up care.
To learn more, call (610) 619-8420 or visit www.crozerkidney.org.