HARRISBURG, Pa. - UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg expands its transplant clinic services. People in need of a liver transplant living in the Harrisburg-area will now be able to come downtown for appointments and evaluations.
"So it's pretty much, we are bringing the world class transplant expertise from Pittsburgh to Pinnacle," said Dr. Swaytha Ganesh, UPMC Living Donor Program medical director.
The clinic will serve as a full evaluation clinic, all imaging, cardiac testings and consultations will happen in Harrisburg with transplant surgeries still happening at UPMC in Pittsburgh. Dr. Ganesh says she's heard from patients about the need for these services.
"In our mind, instead of asking them to come to Pittsburgh, instead of traveling four hours, five hours or six hours," said Dr. Ganesh. "How about we take UPMC to these places. If that is the case, all these people can benefit from UPMC services but they don't have to travel to UPMC."
Bringing the liver transplant clinic to Harrisburg also means bringing awareness to the need of living donors. IN 2017, UPMC led the nation in living donor liver transplants with 71. Dr. Ganesh says there are 15,000 people on a transplant wait list, with only 2,700 transplants happening a year. She says, living donor recipients generally have a stronger recovery compared to deceased donor recipients because the longer patients wait, the sicker they can become.
"In our mind, living donor liver transplant is the first option and should be offered to everybody," said Dr. Ganesh. "No one should die on the wait list, waiting for a liver. So we talk about living donor passionately, consistently across the board from day one when we think about liver transplant"
For more information on the new liver transplant clinic or how to become a living donor, click here.