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Are general surgeons responsible for organ transplants?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by rickmyster78, Dec 5, 2001.

  1. rickmyster78

    rickmyster78 Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    Syracuse, NY
    I am just curious about what sort of a surgeon performs organ transplants (i.e. kidney, liver lobe, etc.).
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  3. Z


    Transplants of abdominal organs are carried out by general surgeons with specialized training in transplantation, usually obtained via a fellowship. Intrathoracic organs are transplanted by Thoracic Surgeons, again, usually with special training in transplantation.
  4. jephyboy

    jephyboy Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2001
    What are the work schedules like?
  5. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    I am not a Transplant Surgeon (and have very little desire to be one) but have just finished, a little over a month ago, one of my required months on Transplant Surgery.

    The hours were pretty poor when you are doing Transplants - often the harvest and transplant take place during the middle of the night. If you can imagine that often the donors are trauma patients and family may want to wait to harvest until everyone has arrived, said their goodbye's etc., you can see why the procedure may not begin until well after my bedtime. Because you cannot predict when an organ will become available for one of your patients, you may find yourself operating on a weekend as well. Obviously you will share call schedules with others but IMHO the hours are at least one reason why Transplant is not considered a popular fellowship field (besides the horrible success rate for livers).

    Hope this helps.
  6. TechMan

    TechMan Dreams Stuff are Made of. 10+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    What about salary? how does it compare with other surgical fields.
  7. bobbyseal

    bobbyseal Boat boy 10+ Year Member

    Jul 6, 2003
    Urologists often do Kidney transplants.

    I've heard of some Gen Surg/transplant fellowship'ers doing small bowel transplants. Has anyone else heard about this?

    GO_MEDPEDS Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2003
    Yeah, we just started doing SB transplants earlier this summer at Indiana University. I'm not sure about the other institutions, but I don't think the success rate is terribly encouraging so far (but then again, these are very sick candidates as is).

    It is the same at our institutions as I would imagine it is at others: Gen Surgery + Fellowship (although some of the older docs just kind of ended up in Transplant...)

    The hours are extremely taxing... probably give the Pediatric Neurosurgeons a run for their money (and I never see them go home). It would be an interesting field, though... a lot of complicated Medicine as well as Surgery.

    Note for me, though... ;)
  9. Meritina

    Meritina Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    I heard they bank.

    But the hours look wierd. Sometimes not doing anything, othertimes spending all nighters harvesting then transplanting the next day..

    Looks fun though!:smuggrin:
  10. carrigallen

    carrigallen 16th centry dutch painter 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2003
    I have heard the main problem with transplant surgery now is lack of volume.

    Do you think future genetic technology (ie porcine organ harvesting) will impact this field?
  11. Kalel

    Kalel Banned Banned

    Feb 1, 2004
    Yup, transplant surgeons are highly compensated surgeons. I can't find any website that lists avg salary, but my understanding is that they can make anywhere from 300K-1 million per year depending on how many transplants they do. One reason that this is such a lucrative field is that insurance co's often won't pay for transplants, so patients end up with huge out of pocket expenses or the funds come from donations (1 lung transplant costs patients ~200,000 which patients have to demonstrate to the hospital that they have in cash before receiving the organ at my hospital). Out of pocket fees are almost always more generous in terms of physician reimbursement fees. Of course not all of this goes to the surgeon, transplants are really expensive because of all the followup care and transplant medicines that patients are chronically on. Harvesting organs such as the kidney can be done by general surgeons, it's a laproscopic procedure these days. CT surgeons do handle the heart and lungs, and there is a transplant fellowship that allows surgeons to handle other organs.

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