Atlanta, Ga. (April 1, 2013) – Piedmont Transplant Institute was awarded a grant worth more than $600,000 from the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust to support a living and paired organ donor exchange initiative.
The funding, which will allow Piedmont Transplant to develop living organ donation educational materials and acquire the talent and resources needed to improve access to living kidney donation, will help with post-operative kidney donor monitoring.
Additionally, the funds will enable Piedmont Transplant to improve its robotic surgery system which is used to perform minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. Minimally-invasive surgery greatly improves donors’ post-operative pain, recovery and cosmetic outcome. Currently, Piedmont Transplant is the only transplant center in Georgia to offer this option.
“The Mason Trust’s grant is key to providing our patients the necessary surgical, medical and educational resources to increase the number of living kidney donations while looking out for the safety and care of the living donor,” said Mark Johnson, M.D., Piedmont Transplant. “Countless kidney donors and recipients will benefit as a result of their generosity.”
Despite such advances in kidney transplant outcomes, the number of transplants performed remains constrained by the limited number of available and viable kidney donors. Nationally, the number of deceased kidney donors is declining while the need for kidney transplants continues to grow.
“Living donors and paired kidney exchanges address this challenge by making it possible for us to create a larger pool of potential, good quality living donors for Georgia residents,” said Miguel Tan, M.D., surgical director of the kidney transplant program at Piedmont Atlanta. “Living kidney donation has, and will continue to, improve outcomes and access to transplantation by decreasing wait times, improving long-term outcomes and lowering the number of people on the deceased donor waiting list.”
While the importance of living donation is established, estimates show only a third of potential living donors and their intended recipients are compatible. A large number of patients have medically suitable and willing donors but cannot receive the organ donation due to incompatibilities like blood type and antibodies. Thus, the need exists for paired kidney exchange initiatives like the one the Mason Trust grant supports at Piedmont.
As a not-for-profit entity, Piedmont Transplant relies on the generosity of others like the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust in order to offer many programs and advanced medical technology to the community. For more information about Piedmont Transplant’s services, visit piedmonttransplant.org.