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Liver, pancreas transplant programs suspended at UF’s Shands HealthCare

Orlando Sentinel, August 24, 2011

Shands HealthCare at the University of Florida has suspended its liver and pancreas transplant programs after the sudden departure of three of its four organ transplant surgeons. The Gainesville transplant center took the action Friday and over the weekend tried to notify all 125 patients waiting for new organs. "If you have a busy transplant program, and you lose even a couple surgeons, it's a major blow," said Kevin Behrns, MD, chairman of surgery at UF's College of Medicine. He is working to recruit multi-organ surgeons who are trained to transplant livers, pancreases and kidneys. Patients waiting for a new liver or pancreas will be placed on another hospital list until Shands can reopen its program, he said. The move should not delay their treatment. The United Network for Organ Sharing is working with Shands to connect patients to other transplant centers. The nearest ones are the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida Hospital in Orlando and Tampa General Hospital.