For the first time ever, a surgical team led by Alan Hemming, MD, has successfully performed a domino transplant using a liver with a rare genetic disorder called methylmalonic acidemia (MMA).
“This extraordinary procedure allowed us to use one donated liver to save two lives,” said Hemming, professor and co-director of the Center for Hepatobiliary Disease and Abdominal Transplantation (CHAT) at UC San Diego Health System. “This procedure is technically more difficult but allows us to expand the number of patients who can benefit from this lifesaving surgery.”
The first transplant recipient, Rafael Bolanos, 28, suffered from MMA, a metabolic disease that causes a toxic build up of amino acids in the body. He faced coma and irreversible neurologic damage. The second patient, James Ogara, 62, was diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver disease caused by scarring of the bile ducts.