As part of new program, two St. Luke’s patients receive liver transplants

A new liver transplant program at St. Luke’s Hospital is reporting that it has performed its first two procedures.

The first patient, a 54-year-old Parkville man diagnosed with hepatitis C, cirrhosis and liver cancer, received his liver transplant Nov. 19. The patient, Charles Jones, was on the waiting list for a donor liver for 110 days, the hospital said. He was in surgery for about four and a half hours and discharged from the hospital after six days.

A second St. Luke’s patient, a man in his 30s from the Kansas City region, received a donor liver Nov. 27. He had been on the waiting list for 32 days. Several other St. Luke’s patients currently are on the waiting list.

St. Luke’s announced in August that it had assembled a team of liver transplant experts and had begun evaluating patients. The hospital’s program received approval in May from the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system. St. Luke’s also has a kidney transplant program and is the only area hospital doing heart transplants.

The University of Kansas Hospital has the region’s oldest and largest liver transplant program. The program started in 1990 and is approved for Medicare patients. To date, the hospital has completed 943 liver transplants, including 91 this year. The hospital also performed 103 kidney and nine kidney-pancreas transplants this year.