Surgeons Perform Long Island’s First Liver Transplant

Brentwood man had just days to live before donor was found.

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A team of surgeons at the Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) recently completed Long Island’s first liver transplant. The hospital is part of the Northwell Health network.


The operation was performed on Carlos Rosales, a 42-year-old Brentwood man with just days to live. According to a statement released by Northwell Health, the married father of two, underwent the 11-hour transplant surgery after spending three months on a waiting list for a liver, which he received from a 19-year-old deceased donor.


The hospital reported that Rosales’ model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score was 39 at the time (the worst possible rating is 40), indicating the severity of his progressive liver disease.


“I honestly believe Mr. Rosales would not have survived the week without this incredible gift,” said Lewis Teperman, MD, director of organ transplantation at Northwell Health and vice chair of surgery at NSUH in a statement released by the hospital.


Rosales will be around for his wife Kenia and two children, 15-year-old Jalynn and 11-year-old Brandon, will for many years to come as a result of the life-saving surgery.


Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health system, received approval in June 2019 from the New York State Department of Health to operate Long Island’s first adult liver transplant program.


There are more than 10,000 patients currently awaiting an organ transplant across New York State – including 1,100 in need of a liver. There were more than 8,200 liver transplants across the United States in 2018 – 450 of them in New York alone, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.


Dr. Teperman led the transplant team - one of five transplant surgeons, two anesthesiologists, two pump technicians, eight OR nurses and scrub techs, two surgical residents and one anesthesia resident on hand during the overnight transplant.


“My family has been by my side through this entire ordeal; I couldn’t have done it without them,” Rosales said in a statement. “I’m grateful for this second chance I’ve been given. Thank you to the donor family and the incredible team at Northwell Health.”