UI Hospital’s transplant program celebrates 50 years at Northerly Island event

The University of Illinois Hospital will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its solid organ transplant program on Saturday, June 16, at Northerly Island. Patients who have received a transplant at UI Hospital and their families are invited to attend. Patrick Noel, 33, one of only five patients worldwide to receive an identical twin living-donor bowel transplant, will be on hand to celebrate. He received approximately 7 feet of intestine from his brother, Derrick, in a surgery performed at UI Hospital in 2017 after being injured in a Chicago shooting.

Dr. Enrico Benedetti with Derrick (center) and Patrick Noel (right).


Northerly Island
1400 S. Linn White Drive


Saturday, June 16
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To RSVP, contact Dave Dreyfus at ddreyfus@uic.edu


Since it was established in 1968, the University of Illinois Hospital’s solid organ transplant program has performed more than 3,700 kidney transplants, 823 liver transplants, 242 pancreas transplants and 41 small bowel transplants. It is the second-largest kidney transplant program in Illinois. Of the 44 living-donor small bowel transplants performed in the United States since 1995, 30 have been performed at UI Hospital.

The department is well-known for its innovative use of robotic surgery. The surgical team, led by Dr. Enrico Benedetti, professor and head of surgery, pioneered the use of robotic surgery to be able to provide kidney transplantation to clinically obese patients who would have otherwise been denied a transplant. They published the first-ever report of a successful robotic kidney transplant in an obese patient in 2010. The hospital began offering this procedure in 2009 and since then physicians have performed 225 of these life-saving surgeries. To date, UIC also has the largest living-donor intestinal transplantation program in the world.

Highlights through the years:

  • Dr. Olga Jonasson founded the division of transplantation at UIC in 1968, and the first kidney transplant was performed at UIC that same year.
  • In 1998, surgeons at UIC performed the first combined coronary bypass and liver transplant.
  • The first adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant in Illinois was performed at UIC in 1998.
  • The first successful living-donor combined kidney and pancreas transplant in identical twins was performed at UIC in 1997.
  • Two out of the five worldwide living donor intestinal transplants from identical twins were performed at UIC. The first was in 2006, and the second in 2017.
  • In 2015, the hospital performed the first-ever combined robotic kidney transplant and sleeve gastrectomy in a morbidly obese patient.
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