Media Contacts

Kathy Wilets

Manager, Office of Public Affairs
Phone: 801-581-5717

Apr 27, 2012 4:15 PM

(SALT LAKE CITY)— Doctors at University of Utah Hospital have marked a significant milestone, performing the 101st liver transplant in the hospital’s history.

“This is an important accomplishment for our program,” says Robin Kim, M.D., liver transplant surgeon, associate professor of surgery, and surgical director of the Liver Transplantation Program. “It speaks to the skill of our staff and the confidence our patients have in our program.”

The University’s first patient, Jeff Call, had a liver transplant in 2006. “I’m still doing great, and I’m very grateful to doctors and staff at the U of U. I’m pleased to have the distinction of being the first transplant patient at the U of U.”

The 101st patient represents another milestone— in February, Joe Yanez became the first patient in Utah to receive a simultaneous liver and heart valve transplant and the first in the world to have this double transplant using a minimally invasive technique for the heart valve.

“This is what an academic liver transplant program is all about,” says Kim. “We can take the most difficult cases and work together with specialists from other disciplines of medicine to come up with the best solutions for our patients.”

There are three surgeons with the U’s liver transplant program, and among them they have transplanted more than 400 livers. The program offers Utah’s only multidisciplinary transplant program, where a team of health care professionals from different branches of medicine work together to perform particularly difficult surgeries. The program also focuses on research as well as treatment which means physicians are actively involved in new treatments and potential cures for disease.