Surgery and Transplantation

Eduardo Marban, MD, PhD

Specialists Myles J. Cohen, MD and David A. Kulber, MD perform a delicate surgery on the hand of an infant.

Rebuilding and Restoring the Body

What happens when a critical organ is near surrender? When medication, lifestyle changes, and therapies just aren’t enough? These are the answers that come up: Surgery. Transplantation. But often those answers come with their own complexities and risks, or they come with instructions to “hurry up and wait,” because there are people ahead of you on a national waiting list.

At Cedars-Sinai, we’re relentless in the search for better answers. Happily, we’ve got a track record to prove that relentlessness pays off. We’re innovating next-generation surgical and transplant approaches. We’ve developed advanced imaging techniques that pinpoint surgical targets, minimally invasive surgical techniques, and robotic technology. All are part of our “operating room of the future.” Not too far ahead, we see new ways to prevent organ rejection, and we’re pioneering new therapies that could greatly reduce transplantation side effects. Your support will help us transform what we see into life-changing, life-saving realities.

Cedars-Sinai has revolutionized the field of surgery and transplantation by introducing:

  • The Bioartificial Liver, which can save lives when no transplants are available
  • Minimally invasive procedures that can turn major operations into minor ones, with faster recovery times and better outcomes
  • IVIG, a new therapy that helps prevent transplant organ rejection Innovative research at Cedars-Sinai has also made it possible for people who are highly sensitized (have high antibodies to transplant targets) to successfully receive kidney transplants
  • Refinements in the use of robotic devices in surgical procedures. Robotic surgery is now routinely used in cardiac surgery, general surgery and urological surgery
  • Innovations in laparoscopic and endoscopic techniques that provide the basis for all minimally invasive surgeries performed today

Our surgical specialties are consistently ranked among the top clinical units in the region and country by U.S. News and World Report and University Hospitals Consortium (UCH) rankings.

Alfredo Trento, MD

Nicholas Nissen, MD, uses high magnification glasses to thoroughly prepare a liver for transplantation.

Current Cedars-Sinai research is on the verge of introducing:

  • Innovative technologies to improve the outcomes of thoracic and neurosurgical operations
  • New ways to block immune responses to kidney transplants without suppressing the immune system
  • Enhanced bone marrow transplantation options
  • Improved visualization of discreet cancer cells during surgery
Limuary Jordan

High-Risk to Heart-Healthy: One Man's Transplant Story

“Mr. Jordan, we have a heart for you.”

Limuary Jordan will never forget those words, spoken to him in the early hours of October 19, 2010, in the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute’s Advanced Heart Failure Unit. They meant the waiting was over for this 65 year-old patient. That day he was wheeled into surgery, where Alfredo Trento, MD, director of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, led the team that gave Limuary a new heart.

Two months earlier, following almost twenty years of heart problems, Limuary had received a BiVAD, a device that helped the ventricles in his weakened heart pump more strongly. Despite Limuary’s high-risk status, the Cedars-Sinai team led by Michele Hamilton, MD, director of the Heart Failure Program, was committed to moving him forward to transplant.

“The BiVAD bought me the time I needed to wait for a donor heart,” says Limuary. He calls the teamwork and follow-up in the Heart Institute “exceptional and seamless—a wonderful thing to receive.” Grateful to the staff and volunteers who watched over his wife, Marilyn, he says, “They took care of me and my family.”

Limuary Jordan received the 54th heart transplant at Cedars-Sinai that year. “From now on,” he says, “that’s my lucky number.”

Randi Swersky and Lori Dunn

Randi Swersky and Lori Dunn volunteer as Transplant Ambassadors to help guide prospective patients through tests, questions, and concerns that accompany organ transplant procedures.

Current priorities include:

  • Funding to further the growth and development of the Minimally Invasive Surgical Technology Institute
  • Endowment for the Thoracic Surgery Center, the Pediatric Surgery Program, and the Transplantation Center
  • Increased participation in and support of the Advanced Surgical Technology Equipment fund
  • Support for Trauma Surgery Center’s research to improve the outcomes of thoracic and neurosurgical operations
  • Endowed chairs to enhance and expand research in existing and emerging areas of strength
  • New graduate fellowships to help Cedars-Sinai attract top medical students to the Department of Surgery

Other funding priorities:

  • State-of-the-art operating rooms
  • Nursing education
  • Research program grants