Dr. Alan G. Birtch brought transplantation to SIU in 1972, and, in the 40 years, since, the program has performed over 800 kidney, pancreas and kidney-pancreas transplants. These Medicare –certified programs, run in cooperation with Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, IL, continue to offer organ transplants to patients requiring a kidney alone, pancreas alone, or combined transplants. SIU surgeons leading the transplantation team include Dr. Marc Garfinkel
and Dr. David Rea, who collaborate with Medical Director Dr. Brad West of the Springfield Clinic. In addition to transplantation, the program’s surgeons offer laparoscopic nephrectomy for living kidney donors and expertise in dialysis access surgery for patients needing access for either peritoneal or hemodialysis.
Marc Garfinkel, MD
David Rae, MD
Brad West, MD
Currently, a program exists at SIU in paired kidney donation, in which living donor and recipient pairs who are an unsuitable match for transplantation enter local, regional and national databases seeking to find appropriate donors for a “swap” or to participate in a “chain, “ in which the initial donor’s kidney may go to another recipient, so that the original recipient may receive a living donor kidney from someone else who is a better match. Research efforts now focus on determining the benefits to recipient health of requiring smoking cessation prior to transplantation, and on establishing appropriate criteria for transplantation in recipients of advanced age. In 2011, SIU surgeons and the Alan G. Birtch Center for Transplantation at Memorial performed a transplant in an 87 year-old man, the fifth oldest person to receive a solid organ transplant, according to UNOS data.
For additional information on the SIU Transplant Program, please go to this link