12 patients participate in 'kidney swap' at SF hospital

ByJanet O KGO logo
Saturday, March 7, 2015
12 patients participate in 'kidney swap' at SF hospital
In a rare medical procedure, 12 patients will participate in a "kidney swap." It's never been done before at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The second phase of a rare six-way kidney transplant is over Friday night in San Francisco. This was part of a two-day operation involving 12 people, six donors and six recipients in all.

Doctors at California Pacific Medical Center said the transplants went very well for all six recipeints.

On Friday, operations started at 7:30 a.m. morning and wrapped up before 5 p.m. Friday.

The staff at California Pacific Medical Center said this was the largest operation of its kind on the West Coast. Surgeons were busy all day Thursday and Friday, but they are happy to say there were no complications and everyone is doing fine.

Zully Broussard kicked off the chain kidney swap. She was inspired after losing loved ones.

Doctors are now hoping more people will become altruistic donors to help the thousands still waiting for a match.

"I think the longest time on wait list is about two-and-a-half years and that particular person, given how hard she is to match, would have waited 5 to 10 years had something like this not become available," said Steven Katznelson, medical director at CPMC. "It's important that people know that the need is there. People need kidney transplants over 100,000 on waiting list and a number of those have living donors that are incompatible with them."

Doctors say there is a very low risk for donors and medical advancements have made it easier for recovery as well.

Once the recipients recover, donors and recipients will have a chance to meet later this month.

The National Kidney Foundation reports that there are more than 100,000 people in the United States waiting for a kidney and that 12 people day a day waiting for the transplant.

Click here if you're interested in becoming an organ donor.