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  • How do I become a VCA donor?
    You must first be a registered organ donor to be contacted for VCA donation. When a person who agreed to be an organ donor dies, a local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) personnel may ask the family whether they would like to donate their deceased loved one’s organs for VCA. This is called family authorization. When a deceased donor’s family agrees to VCA donation, they can choose which VCA organs they would like to donate. If you would like to be a living uterus donor, you can talk to a transplant center and undergo an evaluation to see if you are eligible to donate. · · There are other requirements and tests to match VCA organs with people who need them.
  • Does being an organ donor mean you are automatically a VCA donor?
    No. Signing up to be an organ donor through your driver’s license or state registry DOES NOT automatically mean that you are a VCA organ donor. Medical professionals will approach the family of a person who died about the option of VCA donation on a case-by-case basis, if they think you will be a good match for the recipient.
  • What are the risks of VCA transplants for recipients?
    VCA transplantation is an emerging field in medicine, and research is still being done to understand how VCA affects recipients psychologically and in the long-term. Just like kidney, liver, heart, and other common transplants, VCA transplants carry risks during and after the transplant procedure. The body may reject the transplanted organ if the body views the organ as a foreign object. That is why it is important for recipients to always take anti-rejection medicines to prevent rejection from happening. For all organs, except for the uterus, recipients must take anti-rejection medicines for their whole life. For uterus transplants, recipients take anti-rejection medication until they have had a maximum of two children. After having children, the uterus is removed and the recipient can stop taking anti-rejection medicines. Other risks: · There is no guarantee that the transplanted organ will work the same way as the recipient’s original organ. · There are additional psychological risks associated with VCA, such as problems adjusting to one’s new body image after transplant. · There have been a few cases of recipients asking for their transplanted organ to be removed. · There have been reports of recipients or their partners having difficulty adjusting to the transplant. · A uterus transplant can be stressful to the recipient because they receive an embryo and become pregnant starting 6 to 12 months after their transplant.
  • What are the costs associated with VCA?
    VCA transplants are innovative procedures, and have been paid for in the past by research grants, donations, and/or the hospitals performing VCAs. The main costs associated with VCA are for the surgery itself, physical therapy after the operation, and anti-rejection medicines. VCA surgeries can last many hours and require a large number of surgeons and other specialists, making them expensive procedures. There are also indirect costs, such as time taken off of work for the procedure and for routine physical therapy. Some VCA transplant programs received reimbursement for the anti-rejection medicines through insurance. However, insurance coverage is not standard for all programs and insurance types. Caregivers are needed to help recipients to recover and rehabilitate, including daily care and transportation to appointments.
  • How does someone become eligible to receive a VCA transplant?
    VCA transplants are very individualized procedures often performed on a case-by-case basis based on the type of injury or level of tissue defect. There are several approved VCA transplant centers across the nation that candidates can reach out to individually in order to get evaluated. Each VCA transplant center has specific eligibility criteria and screening processes which may take several months to complete. Below are resources for specific VCA transplant centers and their requirements: Uterus Transplant · Baylor University Medical Center: · Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: · The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: · University of Alabama Hospital: Face Transplant · Brigham and Women’s Hospital: · University of Maryland Medical System: · Mayo Clinic Hospital Minnesota: · NYU Langone Health: · The Cleveland Clinic Foundation: · Yale New Haven Hospital: · Johns Hopkins Hospital: · Mayo Clinic Hospital Arizona: Hand/Arm Transplant · Jewish Hospital: · Brigham and Women’s Hospital: · Johns Hopkins Hospital: · Mayo Clinic Hospital Minnesota: · Duke University Hospital: · NYU Langone Health: · Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: · University of Pittsburgh Medical Center · Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania: · University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center: · University of Texas Health Sciences Center · University of Illinois Medical Center: · The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Abdominal Wall Transplant Stanford Health Care · Jackson Memorial Hospital University of Miami School of Medicine · University of Chicago Medical Center · Indiana University Health · Duke University: · Johns Hopkins Hospital · University of Maryland Medical System · Mount Sinai Medical Center · NYU Langone Health · The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Penis Transplant · Massachusetts General Hospital · Johns Hopkins Hospital:
  • What are the benefits of VCA donation?
    Watch/Read about how VCA is already changing lives! Face transplant: · How a Transplanted Face Transformed Katie Stubblefield’s Life · Amazing Face Transplants (Graphic Images) · He’s the First African American to Receive a Face Transplant. His Story Could Change Health Care · 2 years after face transplant, Andy Sadness' smile shows his progress · Domestic abuse survivor becomes 1st person ever to undergo 2nd face transplant · Cameron Underwood’s Face Transplant Journey Hand transplant: · Zion Harvey, boy with first double hand transplant, can now hold a baseball bat · Soldier gets double-arm transplant at Johns Hopkins · Retiree receives first hand transplant in DOD · Retired Marine Receives A Double Arm Transplant · Live Interview with Marine Veteran John Peck who had a Double Arm Transplant · Chesterfield man who lost hands in farming accident recovers from double hand transplant: 'I took the negative and made it positive' Face and hand transplant: · World’s first face and hands transplant gives New Jersey man a second chance at life Abdominal wall transplant: · Duke Doctors Perform State's First Abdominal Wall Transplant · Plastic Surgery Minutes: Abdominal Wall Transplantation Uterus transplant: · Penn Medicine’s first living-donor uterus transplant leads to new life and new friendship · Experience: I had a baby using a donated uterus · Local Mom Is First in Country to Deliver 2 Babies After Uterus Transplant · 12 Live Births From Uterus Transplants Penis transplant: · Penile Transplants Being Planned to Help Wounded Troops · Doctors Performed the First Full Penis and Scrotum Transplant on an American Military Vet Some families have reported feeling happy that their deceased loved ones can donate their organs and help someone even after death. The wife of one donor said, “I am filled with great joy knowing that he was able to give a little of himself to ensure a better quality of life for someone else.”
  • What can I do now?
    Learn more about VCA: Resources: · Health Resources Services Administration · Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network · United Network for Organ Sharing · The Alliance · American Society of Transplantation · Share information about VCA with your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. · Talk to your family or loved ones if you want to be a VCA donor and tell them how you feel. Due to the sensitive nature of VCAs, donation may be distressing to the family who may have to adjust funeral arrangements to accommodate for the differences in the donor’s appearance. · It is important for family members or loved ones to understand your wishes so they can authorize VCA donation on your behalf.

VCA Transplant Centers in the US

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