2019 was a record-breaking year for transplants and organ donations in North Carolina and a year of innovations and firsts at Vidant Health.

According to Carolina Donor Services, there was a 37 percent increase in organ donors and a 32 percent increase in organs transplanted over 2018.

In December of 2019, Vidant Health, through the work of Dr. Homayoun Pournik, Dr. David B. Leeser and the rest of the care team, pictured below, performed the first robotic kidney transplant in the state. The Da Vinci XI model makes transplants more accessible for patients who previously were not eligible due to concerns over complications during surgery. Specifically, the Da Vinci XI is found to have fewer complications for patients with a BMI over 30.

The first transplant in December of 2019 paved the way for a second operation for another patient in January of 2020.

More than 1 million North Carolina residents registered their decision to become an organ donor through the DMV last year, a record number for the state. The state is still below the national average of registered organ donors with 56.3% and 59.26, respectively. Currently, 3,000 North Carolinians are waiting for life-saving organ transplants.

Currently, Vidant offers kidney transplants, kidney and pancreas transplants, and pancreas after kidney transplants, which occurs when a person who previously received a kidney transplant later needs a pancreas.

Vidant Health looks forward to continured progress in transplant care as we work to improve patient lives.

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Team854.jpgLeft to right back: Emily Massey, Registered Nurse, Specialty Coordinator. Melissa Waller, Registered Nurse, Specialty Coordinator. Tonnette Darden, Lead Surgical Technologist Coordinator. Danielle Gray, Surgical Technologist. Jill Collins, Registered Nurse, First Assist. Lindsey Brickhouse, Lead Surgical Technologist Coordinator. Cassandra Whitney, Registered Nurse, Sr. Administrator Perioperative Services. Steve Tripp Vice President Perioperative Services. Left to right front: Homayoun Pournik, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Surgical Immunology and Transplantation, Brody School of Medicine; Transplant Surgeon, Vidant Medical Center. David B. Leeser, MD, Chief, Surgical Immunology and Transplantation, Brody School of Medicine; Chief of Transplantation, Vidant Medical Center. Brian Floyd, RN, President, Vidant Medical Center.