IRCCS ISMETT celebrates 3,000 transplants.

A successful partnership between Sicilian Region and UPMC.

Palermo, 4 March 2024 The center established in Palermo with an international partnership between the Sicilian Region and UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) has reached the historic milestone of 3,000 transplants in 25 years of activity. This accomplishment was achieved by a network of physicians and healthcare professionals in Sicily, thanks to many donors and their families, celebrated today during a special event at IRCCS ISMETT attended among others by the President of the Sicilian Region, Mr. Renato Schifani.

“The Sicilian government is determined to guaranteeing the right to health and appropriate and timely care for its citizens,” said President Renato Schifani, “and raising awareness on organ donation, with all its related aspects, is a priority for my government. I will continue to urge regional authorities and hospitals to work together on relaunching and strengthening the Sicilian health system in the interest of the entire Region. We are proud to host in Sicily IRCCS ISMETT, a multi-organ transplant center that has become a point of reference internationally, as demonstrated by the results of its various transplant programs. Reported potential donors in 2023 have increased by 20% compared to 2022, with an increase in actual donors by 25%, and an increase in transplants by 25%, with a reduction in regional waiting lists and transplant waiting times.”

Since July 1999, when the first transplant was performed at IRCCS ISMETT, 2,400 deceased donor transplants and 600 living-related transplants have been performed. Of these, 342 were pediatric transplants. With 10% of patients coming from other Italian regions and 5% from other foreign countries, IRCCS ISMETT has a solid reputation of national and international leader in the field of transplantation. 

“Today we celebrate a significant milestone: we have reached and exceeded the milestone of 3,000 transplants,” underlines Dr. Angelo Luca, Director of IRCCS SMETT. “This success is the result of the collaboration with the Sicilian Region and of the constant commitment and expertise of all our staff, always committed to providing high-quality care to our patients. In less than 25 years, we have performed a wide range of both adult and pediatric transplants, introducing innovative programs and techniques, to meet the needs of the many patients on the waiting list, and expanding care options for our patients. Our commitment towards innovation and excellence has made us a national and international point of reference in the field of transplantation.”

In 25 years, IRCCS ISMETT has changed the lives of countless patients, offering quality care and putting an end to the so-called ‘journeys of hope’. More in detail, 1,628 liver, 854 kidney, 222 lung, 234 heart, 5 pancreas and 57 combined transplants have been successfully performed.  IRCCS ISMETT’s lung transplant program has been recognized by the Italian National Transplant Center (CNT) as the one with the best survival curve in Italy in terms of excellence and management of complex cases, such as double transplants (84%), urgent transplants (14%), and combined (2 lung-liver) transplants. In order to reduce waiting times and mortality on the adult and pediatric waiting lists, in recent years, IRCCS SMETT has launched numerous cutting-edge programs including the living-related liver and kidney transplant programs, introduced reconditioning techniques, and used non-heart-beating donors and, last but not least, the split liver technique.

“The goals achieved in terms of donations,” continued President Schifani, “thanks to the sensitivity and skills of citizens, doctors and health care professionals, must be encouraged and supported. I want to express my gratitude to the doctors and clinicians working in such a delicate field, to ISMETT for being always at our side, and to the [Sicilian] regional transplant network.”