Transplant Surgery

The Division of Transplant Surgery of the Samsung Medical Center actively introduces new procedures to maximize treatment effects and implements patient-oriented treatment to improve patients’ satisfaction.

Major areas of treatment / Clinics

We at the Division of Transplant Surgery are doing our best to enable patients with organ malfunction to lead good-quality lives by transplanting various organs in the abdominal cavity such as the liver, kidney, pancreas, and small intestine. We also offer liver resection, pancreatectomy, and procedures for dialysis.

Strong points

Our transplantation team has performed more than 100 cases of kidney and liver transplantation every year. We have been very successful with a 90% success rate in liver transplantation and zero surgical deaths among our kidney transplantation recipients. Islet of Langerhans (a cell group that secretes insulin in the pancreas) transplantation is a much safer option for type I diabetes mellitus patients compared to pancreas transplantation and is made possible by the Division of Transplant Surgery of the SMC. Our team also offers advanced procedures such as liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma, retroperitoneal sarcoma excision, and creation of arteriovenous fistulas. We are the leading team in laparoscopic liver resections with the most number of cases among centers in Korea.

1. Novel techniques

Bile duct complications are the most common complications following liver transplantation. To reduce the risk of bile duct complications, our team uses a novel technique of first resecting the portal vein and bile duct within the liver and subsequently dissecting them, followed by the anastomosis of the bile duct.
Blood type-incompatible liver transplantation has been successfully done without rejection or other complications. We are conducting research to find ways to utilize a smaller volume of the donor liver to enable donations that are not possible due to insufficient liver volume. The development of a bioartificial liver device is another one of our research goals to help those patients with failing livers waiting for a compatible donor.
Blood type-incompatible transplantations are also being done on kidney recipients. Moreover, we are beginning a trial of simultaneous kidney and bone marrow transplantation to induce tolerance.

2. New policies

We are working with the Korea Organ Donation Agency (KODA) to discover better ways of finding and managing brain-dead donors. With the enforcement of policies set up by KODA, however, cases of donation from brain-dead donors have decreased in comparison to previous years. We are trying hard to turn this around by working with nearby hospitals in finding more potential donors for organ donation.

3. Other activities

Our team has performed living donor liver transplantations in Dar Al Fouad Hospital in Egypt (five times since April 2003) and the National Children’s Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam (three times in 2005 and 2006). Our team’s success in these hospitals abroad has helped establish our reputation in the international transplantation community. We are also offering our services and expertise domestically when there are hospitals in need of assistance in the setup of their transplantation programs in other regions in Korea.