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Dec 10, 2019 · New Transplant Blog Posts in Transplants

Hello from the frozen tundra that is Minnesota today! I wish we had a warmer blog topic for you such as hot cocoa or fireplaces, but instead, today's topic is about education! Even before we started Mayo Clinic Connect for transplant patients, we have been working to educate transplant patients and caregivers through various efforts. In today's blog, you can review some of those educational resources and learn how to easily share that educational information with your friends, family and followers. Maybe you can read and learn with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand and a warmth in your heart!
Stay safe, friends!


Nov 19, 2019 · New Transplant Blog Posts in Transplants

Hello everyone,
Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a diagnosis that can be scary for patients. This cancer in the bile ducts can occur without a lot of symptoms as warning and can have several different treatment options, one of which is liver transplant. Because this diagnosis is complex, we thought a blog post might be appropriate to help patients understand the types and treatment options of this liver disease. Check out the blog today, and let us know if you have information for your fellow transplant group members about your treatment and transplant for CCA.


Nov 19, 2019 · Liver Transplant for Cholangiocarcinoma in Transplant

Mayo Clinic is one of the few centers in the United States that performs liver transplantation for cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). CCA is a cancer that forms in the slender tubes (bile ducts) that carry bile from the liver to the intestine. Cholangiocarcinoma obstructs the bile ducts and causes symptoms such as jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), abdominal pain, weight loss, generalized itching, and fever.2019-08-16 CCA Blog

Doctors divide cholangiocarcinoma into different types based on where the cancer occurs in the bile ducts:

  • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma arises in the small bile ducts within the liver and is classified as a type of liver cancer.
  • Hilar cholangiocarcinoma occurs where the major bile ducts combine in the central portion of the liver and form the main bile duct that drains the liver.  Cancers arising in this location are treated with resection when possible. When resection is not possible, these cancers can now be treated with transplantation using the Mayo Clinic protocol.
  • Distal cholangiocarcinoma occurs in the portion of the bile duct that is nearest the small intestine. These cancers are best treated by surgical resection.

Your treatment options for your CCA will depend on the specifics of your cancer, such as the size, location and extent, as well as your health and personal preferences. At Mayo Clinic, your expert team works with you to find a treatment that meets your needs.

The 30 year risk of developing CCA is about 20% in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Not everyone with PSC will get CCA and not everyone with CCA will qualify for liver transplantation. To be eligible for liver transplantation, patients with CCA must have the cancer diagnosis before the disease spreads beyond the liver. Once the disease is elsewhere in the body, a cure is not possible, and the immunosuppressive medications that patients need after transplantation could speed up the spread of the cancer cells.

Once a patient has been diagnosed with CCA and imaging shows that it has not spread outside the liver, the first step of the treatment process is three weeks of radiation treatment with concurrent and continuous infusion of chemotherapy medications. Patients then receive brachytherapy. This procedure involves placing radioactive material inside your body, also called “internal radiation”.  Patients are then treated with oral medications while they await transplantation.

All patients require a staging operation to rule-out spread of cancer prior to transplantation. During this operation, doctors will check the patient for cancer elsewhere in the body. Transplantation can be accomplished with either a deceased or living liver donor.  The waiting time for a deceased liver donor is usually more than a year. This time can be difficult for patients because they can develop infections or become sick with liver failure while waiting for a donor liver. The waiting time can be avoided if the patient has a living donor which would enable them to undergo transplantation much sooner than would otherwise be possible.

Have you been diagnosed with CCA? What were your treatment options?




Oct 22, 2019 · New Transplant Blog Posts in Transplants

Good morning everyone!
Recently our Transplant Discussion Group has been talking about food safety – what to eat, what not to eat, how to prepare, etc. We decided it might be a great topic for a blog post, so we asked one of our transplant dietitian staff to give us some advice on food safety for our patients. Read more on the blog today about food safety ideas that are good for all of us and our families. Are there things your doctors told you that don't fit with the general guidelines? Everyone is different so we should all follow the advice from our own physicians, even though it might be a bit different from what other patients are doing.
Have a wonderful day everyone!


Oct 16, 2019 · What ways you can help when you can’t be a living donor? in Transplants

@luckonetj and @rosemarya, Thanks for asking this question! At Mayo Clinic, someone who has had a transplant is not able to be a living donor. The effects of immunosuppression would rule that person out as a donor. This answer may differ at other transplant centers, but I have not heard of a center that would allow a recipient to be a living donor. On the plus side, anyone, regardless of their medical history, can register to be a deceased donor. At the time of death, the doctors would determine if organs are able to be used for transplant. If anyone is interested, visit https://registerme.org/ for more information.

Sep 24, 2019 · New Transplant Blog Posts in Transplants

That beautiful fall season is upon us. Our trees here in Southern Minnesota are just beginning to change. If you happen to be in the Midwest this month or next month, be sure to take a drive and witness the colorful countryside. With fall, however, comes the dreaded cold and flu season. Today's blog post will give you tips on how to protect yourself and your family from the flu and illness. Let us know how you stay safe from illness all throughout the year!


Sep 24, 2019 · Flu Season: What You Can Do To Stay Healthy in Transplant

Fall is a season of apples, cider, colorful leaves, and for some of us, influenza and flu symptoms. In order to avoid having to deal with illness, you should seriously consider a flu vaccine to prevent yourself and your family from having to spend this beautiful season sick in bed. Influenza vaccination is the single best intervention you can do to prevent influenza and the complications from influenza.2019-08-14 Flu Blog

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against influenza. Mayo Clinic recommends annual influenza vaccination to all transplant candidates, transplant recipients, their caregivers and other close contacts. As a transplant patient, you should not receive the FluMist, nor should any of your caregivers or close contacts. The FluMist is a live virus vaccine and could cause you to become ill. Although not 100% effective, getting a flu shot is worth the needle stick. Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.

If you are a transplant patient at another facility, contact your care team to ask about their recommendations for the flu season.

What you can do

In addition to getting your flu shot, remember to practice good hygiene as another safeguard against flu season.

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren’t available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible
  • Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, and manage your stress

Do you get your flu shot every year? Do you make it a family affair – flu shots together and then a nice dinner out? Tell us about how you stay healthy!


Jul 23, 2019 · New Transplant Blog Posts in Transplants

Hello Transplant Friends! Today's blog post can be helpful for those who are looking for a transplant center. We talk about the aspects of complex care that you should evaluate when searching for a transplant program that's right for you. Have you considered these points when looking for your transplant care? Which one was most important to you? https://mayocl.in/2LJ14J9