GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Prisma Health’s new kidney transplant program has received approval and transplants are expected to begin this Fall.
Prisma Health’s new kidney transplant program at Greenville Memorial Hospital received approval to perform kidney transplants by the United Network for Organ Sharing.
The Prisma Health Transplant Center, which is expected to see its first patients this Fall, will be the only transplant center in the Upstate area of South Carolina. It will bring care to kidney-disease patients who previously had to travel more than 100 miles for transplant-related procedures, hospital officials said.
The center anticipates performing its first kidney transplants, including living-related donors and deceased donors, in early October.
South Carolina has the second highest wait list for kidney transplants in the nation per capita, according to UNOS, with more than 1,300 kidney patients in South Carolina currently on a wait list.
Prisma Health will offer deceased-organ donation as well as living-organ donation, which allows relatives, loved ones, friends and even those wanting to remain anonymous to donate an organ. The kidney is the most commonly transplanted organ from a living donor, according to UNOS.
“We are very excited to receive approval for the Prisma Health Kidney Transplant Program from the United Network for Organ Sharing,” Director of the new transplantation program Dr. Todd Merchen said. “It is both humbling and inspiring to have the opportunity to be part of building this program for our patients, community and state.”
Merchen is division chief of solid organ transplant surgery at Prisma Health and is an associate professor of surgery at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.
“Greenville Memorial Hospital is now one of only 253 transplant centers nationwide and one of only two centers in all of South Carolina,” Transplant nephrologist Keith Superdock said. “By providing kidney transplant services to patients in the Upstate, we hope to improve transplant rates in our region and reduce health care disparities in the state.”
Superdock heads Prisma Health’s division of solid organ transplant medicine as its division chief and is a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.
A local kidney transplantation program may also positively affect willingness of individuals to become donors, according to Donate Life SC, which manages South Carolina’s organ, eye and tissue donor registry.
The Prisma Health Kidney Transplant Program is now accepting referrals for transplant. For more information, visit their website here or call 864-455-1770.