The Texas Transplant Center’s Lung Transplant Program at UTMB recently received certification from the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). With this recognition—the first for UTMB’s lung transplant program—all of the university’s solid organ transplant programs are approved by CMS, and the Texas Transplant Center can truly offer comprehensive, multi-organ transplant care.
At the Texas Transplant Center, experienced physicians, surgeons and skilled medical specialists manage lung transplantation and assist those afflicted with cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, pulmonary hypertension and other serious pulmonary disorders. UTMB’s lung transplantation team provides patients who have advanced lung diseases opportunities to extend and enhance the quality of their lives.
Dr. Luca Cicalese, director of the Texas Transplant Center, said “CMS-approved transplant centers like us provide the highest standards of treatment, care and health outcomes for their patients, for lung, heart, liver and all major organs. We’re proud to have joined a small and elite group of medical centers in Texas with this certification for lung transplant patients.”
Dr. Vincent Valentine directs the lung program with more than 20 years of experience in lung transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema and pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Scott Lick leads the surgical thoracic organ transplant program; co-director Dr. Daniel Beckles adds additional expertise and trail-blazing minimally invasive approaches.
Lung transplants are a complicated medical procedure, and patients require a lifetime of care. This certification will allow Medicare patients to join others in receiving their lung transplants at UTMB, along with the necessary pre-operative and post-operative care.
As another benefit to patients, this certification makes it possible to consider primary listing at UTMB for an available donor organ—or in the case of those currently listed elsewhere, multiple listing—to decrease the time spent on the donor waiting list. The average waitlist time for lung patients at UTMB’s Texas Transplant Center has been as little as 45 days.