MAYWOOD, Ill. - Loyola University Medical Center performed 33 liver transplants in fiscal year 2013, the highest 12-month total in its history.
Loyola’s fiscal year 2013 ended June 30. In calendar year 2013, Loyola is on track to perform 40 to 50 liver transplants.
A newly formed team of liver transplant surgeons and hepatologists is responsible for the increased number of transplants. The team provides comprehensive care to seriously ill patients, including the most complex cases and patients who need retransplants.
Loyola’s dedicated Liver Transplant team is headed by surgeon Amy Lu, MD, division director of Intra-abdominal Transplantation, and hepatologist Jamie Berkes, MD, medical director of Liver Transplantation.
Dr. Lu, one of the top liver transplant surgeons in the country, joined Loyola in February 2011. Dr. Berkes is part of a nationally recognized team of hepatologists (liver specialists) who joined Loyola in August 2012 and opened new clinics. In addition to its main campus in Maywood, Loyola now has Hepatology clinics in Burr Ridge, Elmhurst, Homer Glen, Melrose Park, Park Ridge, Moline, Peoria, Rockford, Chicago’s Chinatown and Chicago’s Dearborn Station.
More than 30 members of Loyola’s multidisciplinary team are specially trained to care for liver transplant patients before, during and after surgery. In addition to surgeons and hepatologists, the team includes interventional radiologists, pre- and post-transplant coordinators, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, dietitians, clinical pharmacists, chaplains and financial coordinators.
Loyola’s Transfer Center, staffed 24/7 by nurses, assists referring physicians in the timely transfer of seriously ill liver patients to Loyola. (The phone number is 855 4-LOYOLA, or 855-456-9652.)
The previous 12-month record for liver transplants at Loyola was 29 transplants, performed in 2003. In the first six months of 2013 alone, Loyola had performed 25 liver transplants.
Loyola plans to initiate a Living Donor Liver Program, which is expected to further boost its transplant numbers.