Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were able to perform a kidney transplant on a patient with no need for dialysis — a feat they said was the first type of procedure in the country.
A medical team in May removed two diseased kidneys and transplanted one new organ in a patient who had polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disorder that causes cysts to grow in the kidneys.
Doctors removed the two 10-pound kidneys, precisely timing the surgery with the hospital that was providing the donor kidney, so the patient did not have to get dialysis, David B. Leeser, associate professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and chief of kidney and pancreas transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Center, who developed the plan, said in a statement.
The kidney swap involved 28 surgeries over a three-week period.
The kidney recipient, 49-year-old retired police officer Wayne Hubbard of Cincinnati, was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in his 20s. His condition rapidly declined in recent years making it hard to breathe.
Leeser and his team developed a backup plan in case arrival of the kidney was delayed and could have administered dialysis if needed.
"This surgical breakthrough may widen the options for PKD patients by drawing on the powerful ability of a paired kidney exchange to find compatible donors from throughout the U.S.," said Dr. E. Albert Reece, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.