For more than 25 years, Dr. Lewis Teperman has worked as director of transplant surgery at the New York University School of Medicine. Lewis Teperman also serves as vice chair of surgery. Over the years, Dr. Lewis Teperman has helped guide patients through the many steps required for successful kidney and liver transplant operations.
Donating a liver to a person who will greatly suffer, or die, without a new liver can be a highly rewarding experience. However, the process of matching an in-need patient with a compatible donor is complex, and even a perfectly matched patient and donor can run into complications. There are a few basic steps a surgeon and his or her medical staff will perform in order to gauge the likelihood of a successful liver transplant. First and foremost, the patient and donor must share the same blood type. A donated liver can be rejected by the host body for any number of reasons, some of them unclear, though a liver with an incompatible blood type has no chance of being accepted.
A donor’s liver must, of course, be healthy enough to survive the transplant and subsequently perform the vital processes of expunging toxins from the body and preparing vitamins and nutrients for use by other organs. This means a donor must be free of liver disease as well as related issues, including hepatitis, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary disease. A donor should also be in generally good shape, meaning they could not qualify as obese or be engaged in any substance abuse, be it alcohol, prescription medicine, or illegal narcotics.
Dr. Lewis Teperman cares for patients at the New York University Langone Medical Center who require organ transplants. The vice chair of the center’s surgery department, Dr. Lewis Teperman helps prepare patients for the liver transplant procedure – and life afterward – in order to optimize the lifespan of the new organ and ensure future health.
Patients at the Langone Medical Center require close monitoring after liver transplant surgery, which requires them to spend a few days in a hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU). During their stay, they are attached to various monitoring and fluid delivery and drainage systems, including a heart monitor, intravenous lines (IVs), and a breathing tube if required. Removal of the breathing tube occurs after patients become strong enough to breathe on their own. Due to an increased susceptibility to illness, only immediate family may visit.
Once a patient’s vitals stabilize, they move to a postoperative unit specifically for transplant patients for furthering monitoring and education on life post-surgery. Patients receive physical therapy and instructions for rehabilitation and nutrition. In addition, they become familiar with the medications they will require for the rest of their lives.
After close monitoring is no longer required, patients move to a regular hospital room to complete their recovery and post-surgery education. Prior to discharge, patients must learn about restrictions and other essential points on caring for themselves after surgery. In order to become accustomed to normal life once they leave the hospital, patients also engage in daily living activities while under the supervision of a health care team. Patients return home after their stay in the normal hospital room.
Complete patient recovery can take up to three months. Patients often find they can carry on normal lives after making a full recovery.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Lewis Teperman has worked in numerous capacities, including that of the NYU Langone Medical Center’s director of transplantation. A liver transplant expert, Dr. Lewis Teperman has also conducted research on the care of patients with liver tumors or liver disease.
According to the American Journal of Managed Care, new agents for the fight against HCV are yielding better results with shorter treatment periods. The introduction of medications like Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) and Simeprevir (Olysio) signifies a momentous step towards managing a disease that creates an overwhelming demand for liver transplants and claims the lives of an estimated 16,000 Americans per year. Used with Ribavirin and Interferon, these medications have been shown to reduce the effects of HCV and to do so three to six months faster than previous treatments. HCV patients currently receive a third of all available liver transplants in the United States, and these breakthrough treatments can help decrease that demand.
While physicians prescribed Sofosbuvir almost 5,000 times within the first two months of its release, many early-stage patients are choosing to wait for the arrival of next-generation medications on the market. The next wave of medications will offer reduced side effects and even higher success rates in the battle against the slowly progressing viral disease.
Dr. Teperman leads a research study at NYULMC transplant which is looking at how to treat patients with alternatives to Interferon.
Dr. Lewis Teperman is a renowned transplant surgeon in New York, and the author of the 2012 article “Living donation for the very ill patient with type 1 hepatorenal syndrome: Are we ready?” Among his professional circles, he is considered an authority on hepatitis C and liver transplantation.
According to federal health officials, two-thirds of individuals with hepatitis C are between the ages of 45 and 64. The testing for hepatitis C in individuals in this age bracket is crucial; due to the lack of knowledge of the disease during the 1960s and 1970s, many blood transfusions may have been contaminated. Any exchange of blood, including that which might occur in contact sports or in manicure/pedicure procedures, also carries the potential for the exchange of hepatitis C.
Treatments have considerably improved over the last few decades, indicating the possibility for a high quality of life for those diagnosed with hepatitis C. Liver transplant surgery is also an effective way to combat liver failure, so long as the disease is discovered in time.