Professor Robert Jones AM
Director of the Victorian Adult and Paediatric Liver Transplant Unit
Solid organ transplantation remains one of the great advances in modern medicine, saving life and improving the quality of life of both adults and children. The dramatic salvage of sick patients remains close to miraculous. Despite this, abdominal transplantation has only recently come of age. Technical issues, infection and rejection have been an enormous challenge.
For example, abdominal transplantation includes a complex combination of operations that can replace the entire abdominal gastrointestinal tract or a portion of it. Experience has led to a better understanding of transplantation in the management of abdominal failure patients. Short term survival has improved and attention has turned to improving long term results. Recent developments of abdominal transplantation provide a remarkable therapy for a small group of patients. The inability to eat and dependence on parenteral feeding has a profound effect on the pathophysiology and psychology of affected patients. Although long term parenteral feeding can provide a ‘good’ quality of life, abdominal transplantation remains an extraordinary life saving option.
Professor Robert Jones AM is Director of the Victorian Adult and Paediatric Liver Transplant Unit and a Professorial Fellow of the University of Melbourne. He was born in New Zealand and graduated in Medicine from the University of Dunedin. He completed his Medical Degree (MB.ChB) at the University of Otago and has a Surgical Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. He was introduced to renal transplantation as a surgical resident in Christchurch in 1975 and commenced surgical training at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney in 1979. Following his surgical fellowship he spent two years as a Senior Registrar in Sydney and Bristol and then completed a two-year fellowship under Professor Sir Peter Morris in Oxford in renal transplantation. Following visits to Professor Sir Roy Caine’s Unit in Cambridge he became interested in liver transplantation. This was followed by time as a fellow in liver transplantation in Pittsburgh, under Professor Thomas Starzl. He moved to Melbourne to join the Surgical Department of Professor Ken Hardy at the Austin Hospital, and started the Victorian Adult and Paediatric Liver Transplant Programme in 1988. He now heads the Victorian programme and is actively involved in heptobiliary and pancreatic surgery. The Transplant Unit is based at the Austin Hospital and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and has performed over 900 liver transplants.
The Unit commenced intestinal transplantation and multivisceral transplantation in 2010.
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