LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at Saint Barnabas Medical Center (SBMC) recently broke its all-time record for the number of kidney transplants performed in one year with 351 kidney transplants completed in 2019 compared to the team’s previous record of 341 transplants in 2017.

With this volume of procedures, Saint Barnabas was the largest kidney transplant center in the Northeast and one of the top kidney transplant programs in the country, according to SBMC. In addition to this record-breaking number of procedures performed in one year, the SBMC transplant program now also boasts the best long-term transplant outcomes in New Jersey.

In 2019, the Saint Barnabas transplant program continued to excel at deceased donor kidney transplants, performing 192 such transplants, or a 52-percent increase from 2018.

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Several programs at SBMC now allow many patients to receive a deceased donor kidney transplant even more quickly than before, according to the medical center. For example, in 2019 alone, 30 patients accepted and received kidneys from deceased donors who had hepatitis C. Those patients then received medications for eight weeks to cure their hepatitis C.

According to SBMC, patients who were blood type B—a blood type that usually has a longer wait time—were able to receive kidneys from donors with blood type A with excellent success rates.

Additionally, SBMC performed 159 living donor kidney transplants in 2019, making SBMC one of the largest living donor programs in the United States.

“The growth of Saint Barnabas’ living kidney donor program has arisen from processes and partnerships put in place almost 15 years ago,” said Francis L. Weng, MD, MSCE, newly appointed Chief of the Transplant Division at SBMC. “Our transplant program offers an innovative and comprehensive array of living donation options that are available at only a few other leading transplant centers.” 

SBMC’s transplant program has unique expertise in facilitating kidney-paired donations and donation chains. These options allow patients who have incompatible living donors to nevertheless receive compatible living donor kidney transplants.

The SBMC Living Donor Kidney Paired Donation Program enables the matching and exchange of kidneys between incompatible donor/recipient pairs so that all recipients receive a compatible transplant. Additionally, the medical center’s Compatible Share program allows compatible pairs to participate in paired donations in order to provide a benefit to the pair through improved living donor matching.

For more information about the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at SBMC or living donation, visit www.transplantkidney.org or call 1-888-409-4707.