Cedars-Sinai team performs rare triple organ transplant

Earlier this year, a team of clinicians at Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai successfully performed a triple organ transplant on a patient with a rare inflammatory disease called sarcoidosis. 

During the 20-hour procedure this spring, Valance Sams Sr. received a new heart, liver and kidney, Cedars-Sinai said in a July 24 news release. This makes Mr. Sams one of 46 people in the U.S. to receive the triple organ transplant since 1987, when the United Network for Organ Sharing started tracking the data.

The procedure was performed by three surgeons — Tyler Gunn, MD, who led the heart transplant; Nicholas Nissen, MD, who led the liver transplant; and Justin Steggerda, MD, who led the kidney transplant. A team of 15 other providers were also involved in the procedure. 

"The coordination starts long before we even get to the operating room," Dr. Steggerda said. "It starts with our program coordinators and our respected nursing staff, who make sure that a donated organ is acceptable, identify the best time to do the procurement, and organize the logistics of getting all the teams there to get the organs and bring them back safely."

Mr. Sams was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that caused a buildup of scar tissue on his heart, about 10 years ago. The condition required comprehensive medical care, including weekly appointments to drain fluid build-ups in his body. His care team expects he will make a full recovery after the organ transplants, according to the report. 

Read more about the case here

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