Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia: A Leader in Transplantation

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Physicians and scientists at Columbia, working in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, have played important roles in transplantation history.

• Dr. Ramon Castroviejo performed the first corneal transplant in the United States in 1933.
• Columbia surgeons led by Dr. Eric Rose performed the first successful pediatric heart transplant in 1984. Read more.
• Dr. Peter Gouras performed the first human retinal cell transplant in 1994.
• NYP/Columbia performed 119 heart transplants in 2005, a one-year record for any U.S. medical center in the history of heart transplantation. Read more.
• Columbia researchers, including Dr. Megan Sykes, are leaders in the study of ways to coax the immune system to better tolerate transplanted organs, which could allow transplant patients to forgo lifelong immunosuppressant drugs. Read more.
• Columbia surgeon Dr. Tomoaki Kato, chief of abdominal organ transplantation at NYP, is a pioneer in ex-vivo surgery. Shortly before joining Columbia, Dr. Kato was the first surgeon to perform a surgery that removed six organs—stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, small bowel, and large bowel—to treat cancer in a patient whose tumor was obstructing three major arteries. Shortly after joining Columbia in 2008, Dr. Kato performed two six-organ ex-vivo surgeries in children. Read more.
• Columbia pioneered the use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) as a viable permanent alternative for patients with heart failure who were not eligible for a transplant. Read more.
• In 2012, liver transplant surgeons at NYP/Columbia were the first in the country to report a fully laparoscopic hepatectomy—the removal of a portion of the liver—from a living adult donor for adult and teenage recipients. Read more.

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