Transplantation involves the replacement of diseased organs with healthy ones. The most commonly transplanted organ is the kidney followed by the liver, heart, and pancreas. Healthy organs are procured from live donors (kidneys) or patients with irreversible brain injury who progress to brain death (deceased organ donors).

University Surgical Associates provides kidney transplantation, simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation, and pancreas-after-kidney transplantation. The transplant program began in 1997. As of 2009, over 780 kidney transplants have been performed in recipients age 2 to 80. Approximately 50 kidney transplant procedures are performed each year at Rhode Island Hospital, including one-half from living donors and the rest from deceased donors. In collaboration with two pediatric nephrologists at Hasbro Children's Hospital, we have performed 28 pediatric renal tranplants. A considerable effort is made to identify potential live donors so that each kidney transplant recipient may benefit from the shorter waiting time (generally 2 - 3 months) and immediate graft function that accompanies these procedures.

University Surgical Associates also offers the full scope of surgical therapy required in end stage renal disease including: peritoneal dialysis catheter placement; arterial-venous fistula creation; and temporary and permanent catheters for hemodialysis and renal transplantation. We also offer expertise in the treatment of general surgical and urologic problems in patients with renal failure.

Rhode Island Hospital is annually in the top 3 - 4 New England hospitals for the recovery of organs from deceased donors. As a result, our patients benefit from reduced waiting time for transplantation.

Rhode Island Hospital, affiliated with the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, is easily reached from anywhere in southern New England. Patients enjoy the best of both worlds; they are remembered as individuals while being treated according to the highest standards in the country. We offer a close-knit environment that fosters working with each patient's community physician, but at the same time we are backed by all the supporting services that come with being one of the highest volume medical centers in New England.

Supporting Specialists

Rhode Island Hospital's Kidney Transplant Center has organized a comprehensive group of supporting specialists to ensure that every aspect of each patient's care is expertly and seamlessly coordinated. These include:

  • Transplant infectious disease physician
  • Transplant pathologists
  • Dermatologist specializing in skin cancer
  • Psychiatrists
  • Transplant nurses and coordinators
  • Nutritionists
  • Pharmacist
  • Transplant social workers
  • Financial coordinator to assist with third party coverage

Transplant Research

The Division of Organ Transplantation continues to be an active participant in national trials evaluating the efficacy of various drug regimens in improving outcomes, reducing rejection rates, and enhancing quality of life. The Center has also recently instituted protocols for reducing alloantibody levels in highly sensitized patients using intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) Velcade, plasmapheresis, and anti-CD20 antibody (Rituximab). Currently, the division is involved in several on-going trials and employs two full time research associates.

Other areas of interest and investigation include:

  • Non-directed (altruistic) kidney donation
  • Kidney paired exchange
  • Desensitization of anti-HLA antibodies before transplantation
  • Preemptive plasmapheresis in preventing recurrent FSGS in renal transplant
  • Pharmacokinetics of mycophenolate mofetil in diabetic renal transplant recipients
  • Surveillance ultrasound guided renal transplant biopsies
  • Live organ donor outcomes for organ donors and recipients
  • A large experience in utilizing kidneys from donors after cardiac death (DCD)
  • Pancreas transplantation outcomes and factors that influence early allograft function

To learn more, call 401-444-8562.

Find a Transplant Surgeon

Transplant Surgery Specialists

Paul E Morrissey, MD, FACS

Adena Osband, MD