"Combined heart/liver transplants are so rare that the best technique for a combined implantation has not yet been elucidated," says Dr. Kevin Lachapelle, a Cardiac Surgeon at the MUHC, who performed the combined procedure with Dr. Peter Metrakos (Liver Surgeon). "Historically these procedures are done separately, but because both organs were procured from Quebec City at the same time by MUHC Drs. Ergina and Paraskevas and because sequential transplants can have a profound negative effect on the heart, we decided a simultaneous implantation offered the best hope of success."
The patient, Patrice Dionne, who was referred to the Institut de cardiologie de Quebec for medical evaluation for a possible heart transplant, was transferred to the MUHC after liver complications necessitated a complex multi-organ transplant. "The patient had waited three years for a heart transplant, during which time his liver began to deteriorate," says Dr. Bernard Cantin, Director of Heart Transplantation at the Institut de cardiologie de Quebec. "At this point we knew the MUHC was the only hospital where we could transfer our patient for this lifesaving surgery." The speed and ease at which this patient transfer occurred demonstrates the level of collaboration and teamwork that exists between hospitals within Quebec.
"The patient made a rapid recovery after surgery, and was discharged after only 10 da