Every ten minutes, another name is added to national transplant waiting list. Together, there are nearly 108,000 people waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S. The majority of transplant patients in the Gulf South find unparalleled care and shorter wait times at the Ochsner Transplant Institute.
New Orleans Organ Transplant: Why Ochsner?
Since its inception in 1984, Ochsner’s team of renowned physicians, surgeons, transplant nurses and support specialists have successfully performed more than 8,000 lifesaving liver, kidney, pancreas and heart transplants. This number includes surgeries performed through our living organ donor programs, including our living donor liver transplant program and our living kidney transplant program. We are the busiest, most experienced transplant center in the Gulf South region.
In recent years, Ochsner has strengthened our position as an international leader by achieving the highest national benchmarks for quality. By recruiting some of the world’s leading transplant surgeons and physicians, pursuing clinical and research excellence and adding programs for even the rarest and most complex organ transplants, the Ochsner Transplant Institute continues to grow and serve more adult and pediatric patients needing organ transplants in New Orleans, the region and around the world. To date, we have cared for transplant patients from 37 states and 10 countries.
Organ Transplant Center Highlights
- Largest liver transplant program by volume in the nation for 2012-2019
- Only pediatric heart and living donor liver transplant programs in Louisiana
- Medicare-approved transplant center for heart, liver and kidney transplantation
- Center of Excellence designation for most insurers
- Performed the first heart, kidney and liver transplants in the state in 1970, 1973 and 1975, respectively.
At Ochsner, it’s all about making sure our patients do better, live longer and experience fewer complications. We combine advanced technology, specialized procedures and a patient-focused approach that leads to successful outcomes. Patients find peace of mind knowing that our transplant success rates and survival rates are greater than the national average.
Shorter Wait Times, Operating Times and Hospital Stays
The Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute has streamlined the care process around the needs of our patients, leading to shorter wait times. A one-day evaluation clinic is offered to help our patients move through the process and get on the waiting list sooner. Along with shorter wait times, Ochsner is known for minimal surgery times, fewer days in critical care and shorter hospital stays.
Meet the Team
At Ochsner, we truly function as a team made up of physicians, advance practice providers, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, social workers, financial coordinators and other healthcare providers. Your transplant coordinator will be there for you whenever you need them, walking you through the process every step of the way.
George E. Loss Jr, MD, Regional Medical Director and Chief, Multi-Organ Transplant Institute
Ari J. Cohen, MD, Medical Director of Multi-Organ Transplant Institute, Head of Abdominal Transplant Surgery, Research Medical Director for Transplant, Liver Transplant Surgeon, Professor of Surgery University of Queensland
Ian C. Carmody, MD, Abdominal Transplant Surgeon, Director, Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Queensland
David S. Bruce, MD, Abdominal Transplant Surgeon
Humberto E. Bohorquez, MD, Abdominal Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgeon
Emily Bugeaud, MD, PhD, Abdominal Transplant Surgeon
John Seal, MD, Abdominal Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgeon
Dennis Sonnier, MD, Abdominal Transplant Surgeon
Nigel Girgrah, MD, Medical Director Liver Transplantation, Chief Wellness Officer
George Therapondos, MD, Section Head Hepatology, Multi-Organ Transplant Institute, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Queensland
Shobha Joshi, MD, Director, Hepatology Research, Transplant Hepatologist
Natalie H. Bzowej, MD, Director of Liver Transplant Heptology Research, Transplant Hepatologist
Nyan Latt, MD, Transplant Hepatologist
Jennifer Schuermann, PA-C, Transplant Hepatology Hepatitis Care Physician Assistant
Kristin Stevens, NP, Transplant Hepatology Nurse Practitioner
Aimee Scroggs, FNP-C, Transplant Hepatology Nurse Practitioner
Cathy Staffeld-Coit, MD, Medical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Section Head Transplant Nephrology
Jorge C. Garces, MD, Program Director, Transplant Nephrology Fellowship training Program. Clinical Professor of Medicine, Louisiana State University, Senior Lecturer University of Queensland, Transplant Nephrology.
Zohreh Soltani, MD, Transplant Nephrologist
Pinky Patel, MD, Transplant Nephrologist
Dana A. Paddock, NP-C, Transplant Nephrology Nurse Practitioner
Courtney Shappley, MD, Pulmonary Diseases
Ward Miller, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Kimberly Sheehan, PA, Physician Assistant
The Ochsner transplant team functions as an integrated team – and our patients play an integral part in the transplant process.
Ochsner created a Patient-Transplant Team Covenant to help promote trusting relationships and foster the highest standards of care. The Covenant is a series of commitments made by Ochsner patients and caregivers, who pledge to work together with respect, trust and in partnership.
Through the Covenant, Ochsner transplant staff commit to always value patients as people, tell patients the truth with compassion and include patients as active team members. In turn, patients agree to value their caregivers as people, tell the truth with confidence and be active members of the transplant team. The partnerships among patients and the transplant team start with the first visit and continue over many years.
Nurturing Patients and Families
Each patient is assigned a transplant coordinator who serves as the main contact person through each stage of treatment – pre, during and after transplant. The patient experience begins with the one-day clinic where the patient sees everyone they need to see on the same day, eliminating the need for multiple visits.
At Ochsner, we nurture patients and their families and support their emotional and social needs. This extra measure of care is especially important for transplant patients because of the complexity of their treatment and the life-long nature of our relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What organs can be donated?
The list of organs and tissue that can be donated are constantly growing. The list include kidney, lung, liver, pancreas, heart, intestines, corneas, bone marrow, cord blood stem cells, peripheral blood stem cells, blood and platelets. Tissues can be used for burns, to replace veins and repair damaged tissue and cartilage. Face and hands have recently been added to the list of organ donations.
Who can donate organs?
People of all ages and medical histories can be a potential donor. Senior citizens in their 90s have been organ donors, and in 2019, 1 out of every 3 people who donated organs was over the age of 50. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated. Click here to learn more on how to register locally and nationally.
What is the process of organ donation?
Most organ donation occur after the donor has died. However, some organs can be donated as a living donor. At Ochsner Health, we have a living donor liver transplant program and a living kidney transplant program. A registered donor can save up to nine lives. Click here to learn more about being a living and a deceased donor.
How are organs matched?
There are several factors used to match organs with patients in need. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), has policies and computerized networks that align transplant candidates with donated organs in ways that save as many lives as possible, along with providing patients with the best chance of long-term wellness. Things like income, insurance or celebrity play absolutely no role in who is prioritized for transplant.
Will doctors try not to save me if I’m an organ donor?
If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. Many states have adopted legislation allowing individuals to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur, although in many states organ procurement organizations also require consent from the donor's family.
Is organ donation against my religion?
All major organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity. The U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation has actually compiled a list of official statements and policies released by religious leaders which you can find here. If you are unsure or uncomfortable though, contact someone at the clergy within your church or place of worship for a consultation.
If you are a transplant patient and want the COVID-19 vaccine, click here to learn more.
If you’ve been turned down for an organ transplant or seek reassurance that your diagnosis is correct and you’re getting the right care, the next step may be a second opinion. Call 504-842-3925 to make an appointment today.
- Organ Transplant COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs
- Register to be an Organ Donor
- 2016 OchsnerOutcomes - Transplant
- 2015 OchsnerOutcomes - Transplant
- 2014 OchsnerOutcomes - Transplant
- Organ Donation in Louisiana
- Organ Donor Registration in Louisiana
- Facts About Organ Donation
- Myths About Organ Donation
- Donate Life America
- Organ Donation Alliance
- "Like" Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute on Facebook
- On-site housing for patients and their families at the Brent House Hotel
- Share your story of care at Ochsner.
- Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)