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Complicated Triple Swap Kidney Transplant Gets Underway This Week

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Aired 12/14/09

Surgeons at La Jolla's Scripps Green Hospital will perform the area's first triple swap kidney transplant this week. The operations will enable three people to get kidneys from donors who hadn't been able to find a match.

— Surgeons at La Jolla's Scripps Green Hospital will perform the area's first triple swap kidney transplant this week. The operations will enable three people to get kidneys from donors who hadn't been able to find a match.

The whole process began when an altruistic donor stepped forward to offer a kidney. Scripps found other donors who weren't a match for their intended recipient, but could donate to someone else on a waiting list. It took more than nine months to find the six people who will be involved in the swap.

Michelle Roberts directs the transplant program at Scripps Green Hospital. She says the operations involve an enormous amount of planning.

"So we've got the ICU where the recipients are going to go to, the other floor where the donors are going to be housed at," Roberts says. "How blood bank's going to work, X-rays are going to work."

The transplants will take place Tuesday and Wednesday. Roberts says all of the patients should be home for the holidays.

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