Monthly News Roundup

January 24, 2023
News Roundup

The Department of Surgery Announces New Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Division; Minoo Kavarana, M.D. serves as inaugural chief 

Dr. Kavarana with a patient

The Department of Surgery formed a new division in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery dedicated to treating all patients with congenital heart disease as well as other pediatric heart conditions to reflect its expert capacity to provide the highest level of care and achieve the best possible outcomes. Minoo Kavarana, M.D., who joined the department in 2010, was appointed the inaugural division chief by Chair Prabhakar Baliga, M.D. “Our dedication to improving the lives of children in need of critical heart surgeries builds on the success of our outstanding team, led for more than 25 years by nationally-renowned pediatric and congenital heart surgeon Scott M. Bradley, M.D.,” said Dr. Kavarana. “It is under Dr. Bradley’s leadership that we built a truly multidisciplinary Pediatric Cardiac Team that produces congenital heart surgery outcomes equal to or better than those of the best centers in the world.”  Read More

Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program Achieves Record Number of Transplants; Improves Donor Patient Care through Robotic Expertise

Dr. Tracy Rice, MD

This year, the MUSC Health Living Donor Program celebrated the highest number of living donor kidney transplants in the program’s history, with 57 successful transplants. “There are more than 100,000 people on the national waiting list for a kidney transplant, and they will be waiting an average of five years,” said Tracy Rice, M.D. Surgical Director of the Living Donor Program. “The number of kidneys available from deceased donors isn’t enough to meet this demand, and thousands of people die each year waiting for an organ to become available. That’s the main reason why growing our Living Donor Program is so important, and I’m proud of our team for achieving this milestone.” In addition to growing the living donor program, Dr. Rice is exceedingly well trained with a unique skill set in robotic donor nephrectomy. With her expertise, the living donor program has converted to a fully robotic donor practice, performing 44 robotic nephrectomies in 2022. Read More

Kidney - Pancreas Transplant Volumes Achieve #1 Ranking

MUSC Health is #1 in the nation for kidney-pancreas volumes. A kidney-pancreas transplant is an operation to place both a kidney and a pancreas — simultaneously—into someone with kidney failure related to type 1 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin, a hormone that controls the blood sugar level in your body. The transplanted pancreas can make insulin and correct this type of diabetes. Additionally, kidney-transplantation is done for type 2 diabetic patients because they are rendered insulin free. The new pancreas stabilizes their blood sugars helping to protect the new kidney from ongoing diabetes. This national ranking is a remarkable accomplishment of our multidisciplinary transplant team, led by kidney transplant surgical director Joseph Scalea, M.D. and pancreas transplant surgical director Angello Lin, M.D.

Left Ventricular Assist Device Implant Volumes Achieve #5 Ranking

MUSC Health is #5 in the nation for left ventricular assist implant volumes to help patients with heart failure. MUSC Health is the only hospital in the Lowcountry to offer LVAD therapy. It sits in the left ventricle (lower heart chamber) to help provide blood flow to your body. Our doctors use the newest type of LVAD, the HeartMate 3TM. The team, led by Arman Kilic, M.D., Surgical Director of the Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program, can implant the HeartMate 3TM through a minimally invasive approach.

AI Leads to Better Outcomes

The Harvey and Marcia Schiller Surgical Innovation Center embraces AI to enhance decision-making and improve outcomes.

Heart transplant

Imagine you just had surgery. You look down at your surgical wound, and you are unsure if it is infected or not or if you should call your doctor or go to the hospital. Soon, your smartphone might be able to help you with this decision. The MUSC Harvey and Marcia Schiller Surgical Innovation Center is working on a project that would allow patients to take a picture of a wound, then have artificial intelligence (AI) analyze the wound and recommend the best care. The connection between AI and machine learning and health care may not be obvious at first. But to Arman Kilic, M.D., director of the Schiller Surgical Innovation Center, AI is the key to better outcomes for patients by, as he explained, helping doctors to make more optimal care decisions and by helping health systems to operate more efficiently. Read Full Story

Promotions and Tenure 

Congratulations to Cynthia Talley, M.D. and Barry Gibney, DO! Dr. Talley was promoted to Professor of Surgery with Tenure and Dr. Gibney was promoted to Associate Professor of Surgery.