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A Rare Surgery For An Even Rarer Condition

Dual Heart/Liver Transplant Performed at Montefiore

Dual heart/liver transplant performed at MontefioreNew York City, NY (June 11, 2010) - Juan Farias, 32, of Middletown, New York, left Montefiore Medical Center today with a new heart and a new liver, because of the extraordinary work of Montefiore physicians and surgeons over a wide range of medical disciplines.

"Mr. Farias was originally referred to Montefiore by his physicians in Orange County for surgical treatment of his coronary artery disease and advanced heart failure," said Robert E. Michler, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief at Montefiore and Co-Director of the Montefiore-Einstein Heart Center. Juan's physicians chose Montefiore because of its reputation for coronary bypass surgery and even more complex procedures, such as the re-shaping of the heart (ventricular reconstruction) to treat heart failure.

In discussing his plan of care, Montefiore's heart team decided that Juan's condition was so grave that a heart transplant was his only option. Intense testing also found that his heart disease was caused by a rare enzyme deficiency in his liver that failed to regulate his cholesterol, meaning that his new heart would eventually become diseased again. It was determined that a liver transplant would also be necessary to prevent disease reoccurrence.

This rare dual heart/liver transplant was performed by Montefiore's heart and liver transplant teams on June 2. The heart was transplanted first, by surgeons David D'Alessandro, MD, and Daniel Goldstein, MD. Then came the liver, transplanted by Amy Lu, MD and Javier Chapochnick-Friedmann, MD. It took over twelve hours to transplant both organs.

Mr. Farias, who has four young children, was able to leave Montefiore with not one but two new leases on life, a remarkable ten days after this rare surgery. In 2009, only eleven such procedures were performed in the U.S.-none in the New York metropolitan area. Mr. Farias expressed his gratitude to Montefiore's medical professionals for being able to watch his children grow up.

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