Despite pandemic, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute remains national leader in transplant care

Despite pandemic, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute Remains National leader in Transplant Care

Share this
A doctor, wearing a white lab coat, sits on the edge of a patient's bed as they laugh and talk together.

Patients benefit from more experience, research, and access to advanced technology as program continues to advance patient care, options for transplant, and positive outcomes for kidney, pancreas, liver, and small bowel disease patients.

WASHINGTON – Patients in need of transplant in the Mid-Atlantic region continue to benefit from the renowned expertise and exceptional outcomes of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute team despite the challenges posed by the pandemic during the past two years. With a steadfast focus on providing optimal clinical care, the team remains a national leader in life-saving transplants such as kidney, pancreas, liver, and small bowel transplants during the pandemic.

“Patients in need of a life-saving transplant can’t wait for the pandemic to end,” said Thomas Fishbein, MD, executive director, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “The risk of death from organ failure is higher than that of COVID, so it has been critical for patients to know they can rely on us to mitigate the risks of the pandemic and continue to provide for them. We will continue to be here for patients in need of life-saving transplants, all while continuing to develop new treatments and offer promising clinical trials to help transplant recipients live their best life.”

During the past two years, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute has continued to be one of the nation’s busiest transplant programs. From 2020-2021, the Institute’s team performed 550 kidney-alone transplants, 254 liver transplants, and 85 other organ transplants, for a total of 932 organs transplanted since the beginning of the pandemic.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Institute performed more kidney transplants than any other hospital in the country, all while taking extra precautions to keep transplant recipients and donors from contracting the virus. The Institute’s enhanced safety and infection prevention protocols included priority COVID-19 testing for transplant candidates, dedicated ‘COVID-19-free' space in the hospital to minimize infection risk for transplant patients, and increased use of telehealth to reduce the number of in-person hospital visits required for pre- and post-transplant care.

The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute Kidney Transplant Program is among the top 12 programs in the United States by volume and has the highest volume in the Washington, D.C. area. More than 200 people received living donor transplants in the past two years, more than any other program in the region. The Institute also provides access to more than 40 clinical trials, carefully planned research studies that have led to important discoveries such as new medications and diagnostic approaches that improve patient outcomes and improve quality of life. In addition, the MedStar Georgetown Kidney Transplant program is the area’s only National Kidney Registry Donor Shield Program, providing a range of protections for living kidney donors otherwise not offered in the region.

The Institute has one of the largest liver transplant centers in the nation, ranking in the top 20 programs by volume. The MedStar Georgetown Liver Transplant Program is the D.C. metropolitan region’s only 5-tier program for survival after liver transplant, and a national leader in pediatric liver transplants. Patients who experience liver transplant with the program benefit from a surgical team with more than 20 years of experience, some of the shortest wait times in the country, and the expertise to treat patients that have been turned away by other programs.

Over the past two years, 34 patients have received small bowel transplants at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute. The team performs nearly 20 percent of all intestinal transplants in the United States, making it the highest-volume program in the country, while consistently reporting the highest survival rates of any large program. The program’s surgical expertise in reconstructive intestinal surgery provides patients with access to innovative treatments that have resulted from clinical trials. As a result, many patients are successfully nutritionally rehabilitated, and avoid the need for a transplant.

Learn more about Living Organ Donation at MedStar Georgetown

Learn more about Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at MedStar Georgetown

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

About MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute