The Karolinska Transplantation Center is responsible for patients in need of kidney, liver, and pancreas transplants. Heart transplants are currently not performed at Karolinska, but our unit, together with the cardiology department, is responsible for the aftercare and regular follow-up of these patients.
Karolinska University Hospital carried out Sweden’s first liver transplant in 1984; since then, more than 2,000 transplants have been performed in total. Together with Sahlgrenska University Hospital, we are the only healthcare provider in Sweden offering liver transplants. This important mission is run on behalf of the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare to centralize highly specialized liver transplant care in order to increase knowledge, quality, and patient safety. Both children and adults undergo transplants with excellent results at Karolinska.
Special competence is also available for liver transplantation in hemophilia, HIV, and familial amyloid polyneuropathy, as well as in hepatocellular cancer and pediatric transplants. Together with the upper abdominal team, we run one of the most extensive liver surgery units in the Nordics, with more than 200 liver procedures annually.
The kidney transplant unit has been active at Karolinska since 1973. Kidney transplants are performed with kidneys from both deceased and living donors. We introduced live donor nephrectomies with a robot-assisted technique a couple of years ago. Our multidisciplinary team is also specialized in pediatric kidney transplants, blood group incompatible kidney transplants, and kidney transplants in multi-immunized patients.
Pancreas transplants have been performed at Karolinska since 1974, and for the past several years, we have also offered islet cell transplants.
Our research activities are focused on tolerance induction, ischemia-reperfusion injury, machine perfusion, and organ repair. We are engaged in several international networks for education and development in the transplant field. We offer multidisciplinary team evaluations on a regular basis as a service for national and international healthcare providers outside Karolinska University Hospital.
As for transplantation with deceased donor organs, we follow the guidelines established by Scandiatransplant (the Scandinavian organ exchange organization).