Cumbie’s liver transplant was a success, despite the rareness of her disease, her deteriorating condition, and the complexity of the procedure. That outcome is common for Duke’s liver transplant team.
“We treat very, very sick patients,” said Debra Sudan, MD, the surgeon who performed Cumbie’s liver transplant surgery. She credited Duke’s technical expertise and the specialists’ medical knowledge as key reasons why even the most critical patients do well following transplant surgery. The team’s cohesive approach to patient care is also an important factor, she said.
“We have very good cooperation between our medical and surgical colleagues,” Sudan said. “And because we’re very detail-oriented we can prevent complications or treat them quickly.”
That combination of expertise, knowledge, and teamwork helps explain why Duke is ranked among the best liver transplant programs in the nation. In fact, when compared to the U.S. average for liver transplant program survival rates, data from the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients shows Duke’s survival rates are among the highest in the country.
Cumbie knows that firsthand.
“I was very lucky to get the transplant so soon,” she said. “That is one awesome hospital."