Kidney transplant numbers rise

Daniel Hinton, left, donated one of his kidneys to his brother, Chris. Their surgery was one of 80 kidney transplants performed at Upstate in 2015.

Daniel Hinton, left, donated one of his kidneys to his brother, Chris. Their surgery was one of 80 kidney transplants performed at Upstate in 2015.

The Hinton brothers represent one of the 10 living donor kidney transplants done at Upstate University Hospital in 2015. Daniel Hinton of Syracuse was a member of the U.S. Special Forces in the Iraqi War and works construction for the city of Syracuse. He donated a kidney to Chris, a chef who lives in Minoa. They posed for a photo on Christmas Eve as they were discharged from the hospital.

Upstate’s transplant program expects to perform more living donor transplants this year, says Rainer Gruessner, MD, who became transplant chief in September.

Living donor kidneys are preferable to those from deceased donors because they function more quickly and usually last twice as long.

Last year was a busy transplant year, with surgeons at Upstate performing 80 kidney transplants, more than any year before.

“Nephrologists from across Central New York are witnessing the recent growth and consistency of the program, and they are happy for their patients to be part of this development,” Gruessner says in explaining the increase.

Over the past 10 years, 40 percent of kidney transplant recipients were residents of Onondaga County. Thirty-three percent came from Jefferson, Oswego and Oneida counties, and 27 percent came from other counties in Central New York.

This article appears in the spring 2016 issue of Upstate Health magazine. Hear a radio  interview with Gruessner about kidney transplants.

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