Dina Halegoua-De Marzio, MD, is an attending gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist in practice at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA. Halegoua-DeMarzio will oversee the Case Conference blog, working with the fellows at Thomas Jefferson for the most interesting and engaging cases of the month.

Disclosure: Halegoua-DeMarzio reports she was an consultant for Intercept Pharma.

BLOG: 1,000 liver transplants and beyond

Dina Halegoua-De Marzio, MD, is an attending gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist in practice at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. She is acting editor of the Case Conferences with the Jefferson Digestive Disease Institute Blog.

A milestone is a significant event. Often a milestone marks the start of a new chapter. For our patients, a milestone could mean the start of a new chapter in their lives.

This month, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital celebrated its 1,000th liver transplant surgery. This milestone is a direct reflection of our collaborative, team-based approach to treating patients with end-stage liver disease.

The transplant team decided to mark the occasion with a patient reunion, inviting our patients to share in the celebration held on June 8th at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Pa. Each patient wore a nametag with the number of their transplant which made the event a memorable experience. We were honored to host both the 1st transplant recipient and the 1,000th transplant recipient.

Jefferson has a long history in the field of liver disease as it performed the first liver transplant in the Delaware Valley in 1984, which makes our program the oldest and the longest continuously active liver transplant program in the Philadelphia area. We continue to improve the care provided to our patients, most recently by streamlining our evaluation process so that patients can be listed in seven days.

Each transplant surgery represents a milestone for patients facing the life-threatening illness of cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, genetic and autoimmune disease. At the event, I couldn’t help but be reminded that each transplant also gives the patient the chance to celebrate countless milestones in their lives that so many others take for granted.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital recently celebrated its 1,000th liver transplant with a patient reunion. From left to right - Cataldo Doria, MD, PhD, MBA, director of the Jefferson Transplant Institute; Denise Benckert-Frank, 1000th liver transplant recipient; Michael Donahue, 1st liver transplant recipient.

Source: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.