Choosing a Transplant Center: Survival Outcomes Data

Date: Oct 30, 2018

Organ transplantation is one of the greatest advances in modern medicine. Just the idea of replacing an organ in the body with another one via transplant is an overwhelming concept. Therefore, it is no surprise that those who are faced with a condition that may require one may feel scared and helpless. If you or a family member are facing an organ transplant in the near future, here are a few suggestions to help you choose the right transplant center for your care.

One of the biggest decisions you will make is choosing a center to have your transplant surgery. With more than 250 transplant centers in the U.S., where do you start? Many patients simply choose the facility closest to them, but there are several questions you should ask before making your final decision on a transplant center:

  • What is the transplant center’s experience with performing transplant (transplant surgery volumes), and what are their survival outcomes?
  • Is the center within the network of your health insurance?
  • If the center is not close to your home, can your family/support system stay near the transplant center without causing an undue burden?
  • Can you easily reach the transplant center for all appointments before and after the transplant?
  • Do you feel comfortable speaking with physicians and the transplant team?

The first question on the list is one of the most important factors when making the decision. Finding and understanding transplant volume and survival outcomes data can be complicated, but the good news is that there is a resource that exists to help you. And it is right at your fingertips. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) provides a website that lists patient and graft survival outcomes for each transplant program across the nation in an easy-to-understand format. Before making your decision, be sure to visit the SRTR website and review your program’s data.

Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) is a national database of transplant statistics. Data in the registry are collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) from hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the country. Every six months, SRTR uses the collected data to calculate transplant program volumes and survival outcomes, and then makes it available to the public on its easy-to-navigate website (

Emory Transplant Center Results

At the Emory Transplant Center, we’re consistently taking steps to improve transplant survival rates and, hopefully, remove some of the fear for our patients. We’ve just received results from the October 2018 release of the SRTR’s transplant program-specific report, and are pleased to highlight a couple of results from our kidney and liver transplant programs. Both programs have demonstrated consistently strong and in some cases better-than-expected patient outcomes.

Emory Kidney Transplant Program


  • In 2017, our kidney transplant team performed 235 adult kidney transplants, and 15 simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplants. This positions the Emory Kidney Transplant Program among the top 15 centers nationally for kidney transplant.

Living Donor Program

  • We performed 82 adult kidney transplants from living donors in 2017. Of those, 25 were transplanted through our paired donor exchange program; therefore ranking Emory’s Kidney Transplant Program as the 5th largest paired donor program nationally through the National Kidney Registry (NKR).

Survival Outcomes

  • Emory’s risk-adjusted 3-year patient and graft survival rates for living donor kidney transplants are higher than our expected rates at 98.28% and 93.33%, respectively.

Transplant Survival Outcomes 3-year

*Published in October 2018 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (

Emory Liver Transplant Center


  • In 2017, our liver transplant team performed a total of 125 adult liver transplants. This positions the Emory Liver Transplant Program among the top 12 centers nationally for liver transplant volume.

Time to Transplant

  • Of our 125 patients transplanted, 40% received a liver transplant within one month of listing, and a total of 56% were transplanted within three months of listing.

Survival Outcomes

  • Emory’s risk-adjusted one-year patient and graft survival rates for liver transplantation remain higher than our expected rates at 93.10% and 92.79% – with both being higher than the national average as well.
  • We are particularly proud of the fact that both of our 3-year risk-adjusted patient and graft survival rates are well above our expected rates, being statistically higher than expected (p<0.05).

Transplant Survivor Outcomes 1 and year 3

*Published in October 2018 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (

About Emory Transplant Center

As one of the top 15 transplant facilities in the nation, Emory Transplant Center is at the forefront of clinical excellence and pioneering new transplant therapies. We offer cutting-edge technology and superior outcomes in heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas transplantation.

Our patients come from all over the nation seeking the highest level of expertise and a full-service organ transplantation program that only an academic medical center like Emory Healthcare can provide.

To learn more about Emory Transplant Center, visit our site or give us a call. 

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