TransMedics® Organ Care Systems

A New Way to Care for the Donated Organ

Henry Ford TransplantTransmedics Organ Care Systems

With TransMedics® OCS, the liver never stops its natural activity.

As the list of patients waiting for a transplant grows, doctors are searching for new ways to preserve organs longer and improve the outcomes for recipients.

Typically, when a liver is retrieved for transplant, it is preserved in a solution and placed in a cold storage container for transport to the receiving hospital.

While these organs are carefully handled and in the overwhelming number of cases ready to be warmed and brought back to life, there are stills risks. Sometimes, a transplanted liver can go through a period of “shock” when retuning to its functional state. This can cause reactions within the transplanted liver, or a period of instability in the recipient’s heart rate or blood pressure.

Also, the time a liver can be in transit is limited by the time it can survive in a cold, “suspended” state, placing a limit on the distance medical teams can travel to retrieve a donated organ. In spite of these limitations, most transplanted organs perform well, and transplant surgery is the most advanced and successful it has ever been.

Yet, the doctors of the Henry Ford Transplant Institute are striving to do better. That’s why we are pleased to be chosen as 3rd in the World, and first in the Midwest, to participate in a clinical trials of the TransMedics Organ Care System (OCS) - Liver. The system has the potential to change the standard of organ care, and increase the number of available liver transplants.

With TransMedics OCS, the donated liver is kept slightly below body temperature. It is connected via the hepatic artery and portal vein to the OCS machine, which pumps a blood solution through the liver.

Instead of being “suspended,” the donor liver continues making bile and doing exactly what it would be doing were it still inside the donor. The donated liver remains virtually “alive,” making time from donation to transplant less of a factor. In some cases, the time spent in transit is actually making the donor liver healthier as it is treated by medical staff on the way to Henry Ford.

While the TransMedics OCS - Liver is still in clinical trials, and is available only to select cases at this time, the Henry Ford Transplant Institute is honored to be chosen as one of the leaders in liver transplant surgery to use this new technology and to bring it to our patients first.

Learn more about Transmedics® Organ Care Systems.

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Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.