We are the specialist centre for lifesaving heart and lung transplant operations for the whole of the North West of England – serving a population of over 6.5 million in five major cities – Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool, Sheffield and Leeds.
Transplant patients from across the UK also choose to come to MFT to have their transplants, based on our excellent reputation and survival rates. We have had patients from as far afield as Scotland, Ireland, Dorset, Cardiff, and the Isle of Mann. Our renowned Transplant team is led by Director of Transplant, Mr Rajamiyer Venkateswaran.
Every year, our specialist surgeons perform around 60 lifesaving transplant operations. In 2014, our 1,000th patient received a transplant, a hugely proud moment for the whole team. The patient made an excellent recovery after a double lung transplant. In April 2015, our team also performed a rare heart and double lung transplant. This extremely rare procedure is undertaken less than 10 times annually across the UK and it was the first time it had been performed at the Trust for 15 years.
MFT Transplant Ward
Transplant patients need an extremely specialist level of care before and after their surgery to help them to make the best possible recovery in the days, months and years ahead. Our transplant inpatient ward was developed specifically to manage every aspect of patients’ care before and after their transplants. We are one of the largest self-contained units in the country, with 16 beds, and can offer a range of services such as bronchoscopy (lung tests) conveniently within the ward.
If you have been referred for an organ transplant, you will first be admitted for a thorough assessment to see if you are suitable for transplant. If so, you will join the transplant list and one of our transplant coordinators will provide you with information about local services available to support you. Once an organ or organs become available, you will be admitted for surgery performed by one of our highly skilled specialist transplant surgeons.
Donor Management Team
When organs which may be suitable for our patients are identified, it is vital to ensure they are transferred to MFT as quickly and smoothly as possible. Our Donor Management Team will go out to hospitals where donors have been identified and optimise the organs to ensure they are in the best possible condition. The team of six is comprised of specialist nurses and transplant fellows – associate specialist and senior registrar doctors who are highly skilled in organ retrieval.
We perform the following procedures: heart transplant, single and double lung transplant, and heart and lung transplant. In addition to transplanting organs from donors, our surgeons perform the implantation of artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices which assist the heart by taking blood from a weakened heart and pumping it back into the circulation. These devices are used either as a bridge to transplant or to support the organs following transplant as the body adapts to the new organ.
Our team has also been instrumental in the global development of ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). This technique has the capacity to increase transplantation through the assessment and reconditioning of damaged lungs. We were the first unit in the world to successfully attempt EVLP, as described by Professor Stig Steen’s group at the University Hospital of Lund in Sweden.
Heart and Lung
- Dr Rajamiyer Venkateswaran
- Mr James Barnard
- Mr Vipin Mehta
- Mr Ioannis Dimarakis
- Mr Nnamdi Nwaejike
- Mr Sendhil Balasubramanian
- Issac Kadir
- Paul Waterworth
- Mr Rajesh Shah
Following surgery, patients are cared for on our Cardiothoracic Critical Care Units – one of the largest in the UK – for specialist post-transplant intensive care support. They are then transferred back to the transplant ward, where our highly skilled transplant nurses monitor and support recovery.
Following discharge home, patients have regular follow-up care including checks every two weeks to monitor for organ rejection and regular biopsies for up to two years. In some cases, patients may need to return for further treatment years after their initial transplant, and we are often told that they appreciate returning to the same unit for follow-up. People often tell us the unit staff feel like an extended family to them.
Having an organ transplant is a major event in itself but the impacts on the lives of patients can be even wider. With this in mind, we offer support services include appointments with a social worker, a support group, and two dedicated psychologists experienced in supporting transplant patients.
Patients can also access gym and physiotherapy programmes specifically tailored to their needs and a specialist dietician is available to give advice about healthy eating.
A group of transplant recipients, with the help of our psychologists, have set up a transplant buddy scheme to pass on their experience and support other patients. All buddies have been through the Trust process for volunteer registration. Information about the transplant buddies is posted on the patient board and a leaflet is available in the reception area.
The Wythenshawe Hospital Transplant Fund (known as New Start) is a charity set up to provide financial assistance to the heart and lung transplantation programme and future clinical developments in heart and lung surgery at Wythenshawe Hospital. Since its formation in 1986, New Start has raised over £8.5 million and our major capital projects.
Recent donations from have included £250,000 to fund an innovative TransMedic device which can transport a heart from a donor hospital to MFT while it is still beating, rather than using the traditional ice box technique.
Our patients need a range of medical support and we work closely with colleagues in other specialties including Biochemistry and Infectious Diseases, and with referring hospitals who monitor patients in between visits to our unit.
We have a dedicated research laboratory adjoining our unit where we carry out research related to immunology and heart and lung transplant. We also perform research related to artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices. In a recent peer review we were commended for our clinical research.
Patients are referred for transplant services by their hospital consultants. The transplant team then decide if the patient is suitable for an outpatient or inpatient assessment. Tests are carried out and the team will agree recommendations for the patient’s treatment which will the patient’s consultant will discuss in full with the patient.
The Transplant Centre is located in the Green Zone at Wythenshawe Hospital near entrance 8, off Floats Road.