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Duke’s Liver Transplant Program Shows Best-in-Nation Results

Duke's liver transplant patients move off the waiting list to transplant more than 2.5 times faster than the national average

Published January 16, 2017 | Updated January 17, 2017

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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University Hospital has the nation’s best outcomes for adult liver transplants from deceased donors, according to data from 2016.

Duke’s transplant center, which in 1984 became the first in North Carolina to provide liver transplants, is among the nation’s most efficient centers. It moves patients from the waiting list to transplant more than 2.5 times faster than the national average. 

“That’s an important statistic, because about one-fourth of patients listed throughout the nation die without getting a transplant,” said Stuart Knechtle, M.D., executive director of the Duke Transplant Center. Knechtle said Duke performed 98 liver transplants last year – the most in the state. 

Survival rates at Duke are also among the nation’s best. Measured at one and three years, survival for adults who received deceased-donor livers at Duke is higher than at all other centers in the United States.

“The chance of having a successful liver transplant is greatest at Duke compared to other centers in the country,” Knechtle said.

Liver transplant is an option for people with end-stage liver disease, cancer and organ failure.

Duke has been a pioneer in solid organ transplantation since establishing one of the nation’s first kidney transplant programs in 1965 and is among the nation’s leading centers for organ transplantation. The center now provides heart, lung and small bowel transplants in addition to liver and kidney. Last year, the transplant center became one of a few in the nation to also offer hand transplantation.

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