Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons have experience and expertise performing multiorgan transplant procedures, including heart-lung, heart-liver, heart-kidney, kidney-pancreas, liver-kidney and heart-lung-liver transplants. Surgeons use innovative techniques in multiorgan transplant surgery and other types of transplant surgery, with excellent results. Surgeons at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota also perform multiorgan transplant procedures in children. Doctors trained in many areas work together as a team in the Transplant Center to treat people who need multiorgan transplants.
In a Mayo Clinic study, doctors found that people who needed and received heart-kidney transplants had excellent long-term results. In addition, doctors also reported that long-term outcomes of heart-kidney transplants had the same or better outcomes as a heart transplant alone. In another Mayo Clinic study, researchers concluded that people who needed and received heart-liver transplants had results similar to those achieved with a heart transplant alone. Researchers continue to study outcomes of multiorgan transplants to improve post-transplant results.
Due to the shortage of donor organs available for transplants, researchers study other potential treatments. Researchers study how stem cells potentially may be used to repair, replace or regenerate your diseased cells in regenerative medicine. Mayo has developed processes to increase the utilization of organs for transplant, which has increased the transplant rate for people on the waiting list.
Researchers also are studying the possibility of living-organ transplant from one species to another (xenotransplantation). Xenotransplantation research includes genetic engineering of pigs so that their organs are compatible for transplant to humans. In addition, researchers are looking at treating diseases through transferring genes into tissues (gene therapy). For example, gene therapy may treat rejection of a heart transplant.