Kidney Transplants Top Organ Surgeries Across Iran

Kidney Transplants Top Organ Surgeries Across IranKidney Transplants Top Organ Surgeries Across Iran

Annually, thousands of kidney, heart, liver and lung transplant surgeries are performed on patients with organ failure at 46 transplant centers across the country.

Kidney transplants account for nearly 75% of all organ replacement surgeries while liver and heart transplants comprise 22% and 3% of the total number of surgeries.  

“Last year (ended March 19), replacements for failing organs were provided to 3,300 patients of whom 2,500 were in need of kidney transplants,” said Dr Mohammad Kazemeini, head of the Organ Transplant Management Center at the Health Ministry.

“More than half of all transplanted kidneys (56%) were from brain-dead donors and 44% were from living people,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

In the same period, from among the 8,000 people confirmed as brain dead by hospitals, “1,400 kidneys (and 2,300 organs) were donated to the center.”

The statistics indicate that “we have been successful in informing and encouraging the general public to participate in organ donation as a voluntary act of charity.” However, the figures are still low.

At the same time, 716 liver and 102 heart transplants were also performed in the country. There are 29, 8, 7, and 2, kidney, heart, liver and lung transplant centers, respectively, in the country.

The transplant centers are not concentrated in Tehran and several of them are located in provincial capital cities like Shiraz and Mashhad. On average, 500 liver transplants and 300 kidney surgeries are conducted in Shiraz every year. The first kidney transplant in Iran was also performed in 1968 in Namazi hospital in Shiraz, the capital of Fars Province.

He pointed to Iran’s top position in the field of kidney transplants in the Middle East and said “On average, 3,000 kidney transplants are conducted every year and Iranian surgeons have transplanted over 35,000 kidneys so far.”

Whether the ministry has plans to establish transplant centers in more cities, Kazemeini said, “The current number of treatment centers is in proportion to the number of patients, and establishment of more centers is not cost-effective.”

In February 2016, following approval by the Management and Planning Organization, the Organ Transplant Office was upgraded to Organ Transplant Management Center comprising five departments in order to create a comprehensive network of donor organs and a patients’ waitlist.

The center has transplantation, organ procurement, organ allocation, living kidney donation, and bone marrow transplant departments.