The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Liver Transplant Program was established in 1990. Since 1999, the program has been led by Rene Romero, M.D. Dr. Romero, an award winning physician, educator and clinical researcher, is the Medical Director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program and Chief of Hepatology. He has extensive experience in acute liver failure, portal hypertension, viral hepatitis, hepatopulmonary syndrome and post transplant medical issues.
In fall 2009, Stuart Knechtle, M.D. joined the Children’s Liver Transplant team as Surgical Director. Dr. Knechtle is a leader in the field of liver transplantation. He has designed and led a variety of clinical trials in organ transplantation, and had an NIH funded research lab for more than 15 years. Prior to coming to Children’s, Dr. Knechtle led a team at the University of Wisconsin Madison that performed the state’s first liver transplant from a living donor and the state’s first combined liver/pancreas transplant. Dr. Knechtle’s research focuses on transplant immunology.
In addition to these two esteemed physicians, the liver transplant team is comprised of a transplant nurse coordinator, nurses, transplant pharmacist, social worker, child life specialist, nutritionist, hospital teacher, psychologist, financial counselor and chaplain.
- In 2011, Children's ranked No. 2 in the Southeast in regards to the total number of pediatric liver transplants performed
- Patient and graft survival rates that exceed the national average
- An average of 25 pediatric liver transplants a year for the past five years and more than 350 pediatric liver transplants since 1990
- One of the shortest wait times in the country for children waiting for a liver transplant
- Transplanted the world's youngest (10 days old) and the three smallest (2 to 4 pounds) liver transplant recipients
- In 1997, Children's performed the first pediatric split liver transplant in Georgia.
- In September 1998, Children's performed the first split liver transplantation in Georgia for two unrelated recipients.
- In September 2000, Children's performed a living donor right lobe liver transplant from a mother to her teenage son. This procedure involved transplanting approximately 65 percent of her liver to her son—it was the first of its type performed in the United States.