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Sharp Health News

Can you transplant that? (infographic)

Feb. 9, 2017

Today's transplant technology is nothing short of amazing. Aside from the more mainstream organ transplants, such as hearts and kidneys, patients can now get new legs, skin and, maybe one day, a new head. We asked Dr. Barry Browne, surgical director of abdominal transplant at Sharp Memorial Hospital, to share some surprising, if not rare surgeries.

Can you transplant that? (infographic). Life-changing transplants go beyond hearts and kidneys. Skin, hands and even faces can be transplanted, too. At Sharp, we transform lives by transplanting the heart, kidney and pancreas. See how surgery transforms lives from head to toe. Head. In the next few years, an Italian neurosurgeon says he will perform the first one – connecting arteries, spinal cord and more. Corneas. Donors are universal, so the donor and recipient blood types do not need to match. Face. Surgery can last up to 36 hours and has been performed on only about a dozen patients. Skin. Donated skin can be life-saving for patients suffering from burns or trauma. Heart valves. Two-thirds of those who need new heart valves are under 15 years old. Intestine. This transplant is life-changing for those with irreversible intestinal failure, a condition that prevents them from digesting food. Leg. Fewer than five have been transplanted, but a study is being done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to help patients who suffered burns, trauma, tumors or deformities. Hand. This complex surgery involves setting bones, reattaching arteries and repairing nerves. Bones/tendons. These transplants would save limbs that would otherwise be amputated. In the U.S. today, thousands of people wait for a transplant. These are the top needs (numbers are accurate as of January 2017): 99,284 people are waiting for a kidney. 14,689 people are waiting for a liver. 4,109 people are waiting for a heart. 1,435 people are waiting for a lung. 956 people are waiting for a pancreas. One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 50 others, says Dr. Barry Browne, surgical director of abdominal transplant at Sharp Memorial Hospital. Register to be an organ donor at

View the printable version of this infographic.

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