July 18, 2022
Riverside, CA – Riverside Community Hospital’s Comprehensive Transplant Center performed their first-ever liver transplant surgery on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The patient, a 53-year-old male, was diagnosed with liver failure and liver cancer in November of 2021. In March of this year, he was referred to the Comprehensive Transplant Center and evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team of transplant experts. On June 24, he was placed on the liver transplant waitlist; and two days later was in surgery for his new organ. After 13 days recovering in the hospital, the patient was discharged home and is anticipated to make a complete recovery, cancer free and liver failure free. Follow-up appointments are verifying this positive outcome.
Unlike kidney and pancreas transplantation, where management of organ failure can be accomplished through the advances in medical science, dialysis and medication (insulin) therapy, complete liver failure is a terminal prognosis without replacement of the organ. Because patients in liver failure are often times very sick by the time an organ is available, and the surgery is much more invasive, it carries greater risk compared to kidney and pancreas transplant. This is why the surgery is supported by a multi-specialty team, including the transplant surgeons, anesthesiologists, perfusionists and specialized operating rooms nurses and technologists, to ensure the patient has a successful outcome.
“Transplantation doesn’t only save lives but it also renews hope,” said Anand Annamalai, MD, Transplant Surgeon at Riverside Community Hospital’s Comprehensive Transplant Center. “I am thankful to have the opportunity to give hope to this community. Adding liver to our transplant services required the vast efforts and expertise of physicians, nursing, hospital administration and countless units and support departments. This much needed service is elevating our care and capabilities to bring advanced healthcare to the Inland Empire.”
Riverside Community Hospital opened the Comprehensive Transplant Center in November 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in our region. The decision to open during the COVID-19 surge was to meet a critical need in our county. Patients in the Inland Empire and surrounding areas struggle with access to transplant services. The waiting period for a deceased donor transplant can range from less than 30-days to more than 5 years. “We are the only transplant center in Riverside County,” said Jackie Van Blaricum, Chief Executive Officer at Riverside Community Hospital. “Our Vision to be the premier healthcare destination means we must bring advanced, world-class services to an under-resourced region, especially during a global pandemic.”
Riverside Community Hospital performed their second liver transplant on July 14, third on July 15 and fourth on July 16. All patients are being monitored closely and expected to make full, healthy recoveries.
The Comprehensive Transplant Center Team at Riverside Community Hospital
R to L, Elise Diner, Operations, Jamie Taylor, MD, Anesthesia, Brendan Boland, MD, Surgeon, Anand Annamalai, MD, Surgeon, Sameh Fayek, MD, Surgeon, Tariq Shah, Nephrology
 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National data website. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/liver-disease/liver-transplant/preparing-transplant