PHILADELPHIA —Penn Medicine has completed its 1000th lung transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), an accomplishment shared with only four other lung transplant programs in the Unites States.

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“We’re excited to have reached such a momentous milestone for the Penn Lung Transplant Program,” said James C. Lee, MD, medical director of the Penn Lung Transplantation Program and an assistant professor of Clinical Medicine. “This milestone celebrates the positive impact we’ve had on the lives of our patients, and the difference we have made for those who have received lung transplants at Penn Medicine.”

The Penn Lung Transplant Program, part of the Penn Transplant Institute, the largest multi-organ transplant center in the Philadelphia region, was established in 1991 and has been at the forefront of care and clinical advances in the area of lung transplantation for a quarter century. Since its inception, the program has performed more adult lung transplants than any other program in the Philadelphia area, with an average of 50 lung transplants per year over the last 15 years. In 2016, the program is on track to complete over 80 lung transplants. This is made possible, in part, by our patient-centered approach to care which ensures patients are moved through the evaluation swiftly and safely.

“Together, working closely with our patients and their families, our partners at Gift of Life Donor Program, and many groups within the health system, we have made tremendous progress in the field, and have been able to help so many patients who are struggling just to breathe,” said Edward Cantu, III, MD, an assistant professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, and the surgeon who performed the 1,000th lung transplant. “Our multidisciplinary approach to patient care allows us to treat some of the sickest patients in the timeliest way possible.”
Penn Medicine’s physicians, nurses, counselors and surgeons, among others, work with patients and their families to determine eligibility for transplantation, and follow them through post-operative care to ensure the transplanted organ is functioning properly and patients are recovering well. The success of the program is a direct result of the combined efforts of multiple clinical departments across Penn Medicine and a unique, multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of end-stage organ disease.

“With so many awaiting organs on United Organ Sharing Network’s (UNOS) waiting list, the goal of the Penn Transplant Institute is to provide a superior level of care to our patients while they are listed, during their transplant, and in the days, weeks and years to follow,” said Abraham Shaked, MD, PhD, director of the Penn Transplant Institute and the Eldridge L. Eliason Professor of Surgery. “Our team, whether involved in a lung transplant, or a liver, kidney or heart transplant, are dedicated to helping the sickest of patients, and to finding ways to change even more lives through organ transplantation.”

The Penn Lung Transplant Program, and Penn Transplant Institute, delivers compassionate care with a goal to dramatically improve patient’s survival and quality of life. This achievement was also made possible by donor families and their loved ones who gave the gift of life through organ donation.

“With the expertise our team has gained over the years, we are committed to offering all available treatment options, and alternatives, that allow patients to receive a lung transplant swiftly," said Christian A. Bermudez, MD, the surgical director of Lung Transplantation and ECMO, director of Thoracic Transplantation, and an associate professor of Cardiovascular Surgery. "Following this tremendous milestone, it is my hope, and the goal of the program that our multidisciplinary team continues to further our expertise, advance the field of transplantation and give our patients the opportunity to really get their lives back."

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