A record year for hope. Swedish marks an unparalleled year for organ transplant in 2023.

February 26, 2024 Swedish Health Team


In this article:

  • The transplant program at Swedish surpassed all its previous records in 2023, providing more liver and kidney transplants than ever before.

  • Swedish has a comprehensive abdominal transplant program that offers kidney, liver and pancreas transplants, as well as living donor kidney transplants. It is the largest transplant program and the only liver transplant program in the 51-hospital Providence system.

  • Last year’s milestones included program recertification, an expanded care team, and outreach clinics in Alaska, providing care to patients from surrounding communities.

For more than 45 years, the transplant team at Swedish Medical Center has been providing organ transplants to people throughout the Pacific Northwest. Last year, they broke all previous program records, giving more people than ever before the gift of life.

“2023 was a fantastic year for our patients and our team,” says Cheyenne Haines, MBA, BSN, RN, director of operations for the Organ Transplant Center. “We shattered all program records for both kidney and liver recipients, and the outcomes were excellent overall. Saving patients and life-years is why we are here, and the team’s commitment to excellence is evident in every transplant.”

Last year, the team performed 136 kidney transplants, compared to 110 in 2022; 68 liver transplants in 2023, compared to 45 in 2022; 15 hepato-biliary procedures and 22 living donor kidney transplants.

“It’s a dramatic difference. It was a phenomenal year,” says Chandrasekar Santhanakrishnan, M.D., FACS, executive medical director at the Organ Transplant Center. “Over the last two years, the number of liver transplants we’ve done has more than doubled. Not only that, we’re getting excellent results. And that’s been possible despite doing a very high percentage of patients who are very sick.”

Swedish Organ Transplant Program

Swedish is one of seven kidney transplant centers and one of four liver transplant centers serving the entire Pacific Northwest. The first kidney transplant at Swedish Medical Center occurred in 1972; more than 2,000 people from across the Northwest have received kidneys since.

“We are a comprehensive abdominal transplant program. We offer kidney, liver and pancreas transplants as well as living donor kidney transplants,” says Dr. Krishnan. “Swedish has the largest transplant program in the 51-hospital Providence system and is the only liver transplant program.”

“Swedish has very deep roots in the community, and we've been here for a long time,” says Cheyenne. “We have patients from all over, and it’s not just limited to the Seattle region. We serve a pretty large swath all the way from Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.”

In addition to the high number of transplant procedures, 2023 saw many milestones for the transplant program. All of them contributed to the record-breaking year, according to Dr. Krishnan.

Other highlights included:

  • Addition of a third full-time transplant surgeon.
  • All programs achieved successful renewal of certification by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which recognizes qualifying hospitals for their dedication to high-quality care and safety.
  • Restarting the in-person outreach clinics in Alaska, which were paused during the pandemic.
  • Decreasing the average hospital stay required after liver transplants.

“Organ transplants are very much lifesaving, whether it’s getting a patient off long-term dialysis or curing their irreversible liver disease with a liver transplant,” says Dr. Krishnan. “Seeing patients regain their quality of life and be there for their families is gratifying. Transplants provide hope.”

Learn more and find a physician 

Visit our website to learn more about the Organ Transplant Center at Swedish First Hill.

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult a doctor virtually, you have options. Contact Swedish Primary Care to schedule an appointment with a primary care practitioner. You can also connect virtually with your doctor to review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow up as needed. And with Swedish ExpressCare Virtual you can receive treatment in minutes for common conditions such as colds, flu, urinary tract infections, and more. You can also use our provider directory to find a specialist or primary care physician near you. 

Information for patients and visitors 

Related resources 

Transplant nurses help give the gift of life

It’s National Minority Donor Awareness Month

Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions. 

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