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Temple Liver Transplant Program Celebrates Five Prolific Years

Since performing its first transplant on February 16, 2009, Temple University Hospital's Liver Transplant Program has transplanted 97 life-saving organs, attracted renowned surgeons and transplant specialists to join its team, and expanded its offerings of sophisticated, high quality services to include bloodless surgical care.

Recently, the program celebrated its fifth anniversary with a festive luncheon hosted by Ashokkumar B. Jain, MD, FACS, who prepared a full menu of traditional vegetarian dishes from his native country of India. More than 100 Temple colleagues — including physicians, nurses, administrators and staff — joined the Liver Transplant Team in recognizing the program's growth and longevity.

Of course, patients, too – including recent transplant recipients Jim Priga and Joe Majiros — had reason to share the celebratory vibes.

"Patients who need a liver transplant are in good hands at Temple," proclaimed Jim, a 69-year-old retired computer specialist from Coopersburg, PA. "The doctors and staff were encouraging and kind, and the care was fabulous. I am in good health now."

His sentiments were echoed by Joe, a 66- year-old retired respiratory therapist from Wilkes-Barre. "Mine was a challenging case, and the special team at Temple went beyond the call of duty – they saved my life."

Temple's Liver Transplant program is recognized for its effective treatment of many high-acuity patients, including patients with recurrent Hepatitis C and HIV, who are often turned away elsewhere because of their complex clinical needs. And the team's ability to save lives was further enhanced with the recent addition of two world-class specialists: Abdullah Al-Osaimi, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, Chief of the Division of Hepatology & Medical Director of Liver Transplantation; and Antonio Di Carlo, MD, Chief of Abdominal Organ Transplant Surgery.

"Through ongoing innovation, we continue to offer services that further demonstrate our dedication to helping patients with liver disease," said Dr. Jain. "For example, by developing and using a new, proven protocol for administering medication after transplants, we have reduced the rate of organ rejection to less than five percent and preserved kidney function in transplanted patients, thereby avoiding the need for dialysis."

"Our program also performs liver transplants without the use of blood transfusions, for patients who prefer that option," he added.

Date Published: Tuesday, April 22, 2014