Scripps Health has opened a clinic in Rancho Mirage to care for kidney, pancreas and liver transplant patients through the Scripps Center for Organ and Cell Transplantation in San Diego.
“We opened the clinic in response to requests from patients and referring doctors in the Palm Springs area,” said Dr. Christopher Marsh, chief of transplant surgery at the Scripps Center for Organ and Cell Transplantation. “Word is spreading about our program and how well we care for our patients.”
Some clinic visits that previously required trips to San Diego now can be done closer to home, saving patients time and money. Doctors at the Rancho Mirage location will perform initial patient screenings, re-evaluations of patients on organ waiting lists and follow-up exams after transplant surgery.
The clinic is located at 69-730 Highway 111, Suite 117, and is staffed by a transplant physician, a transplant nurse coordinator and a physician assistant. Appointments are available on the last Friday of every month.
Dr. Marsh, along with fellow Scripps Clinic surgeon Dr. Jonathan Fisher and Dr. Donald Hillebrand, a hepatologist and director of liver transplants at the Scripps center, will see patients at the new site.
Patients will continue to visit San Diego for final presurgery educational classes and for their organ transplant surgery. They also can participate in support group meetings organized through the San Diego center.
Transplant patients must undergo extensive evaluations and instruction before surgery, and some candidates wait months or years for organs to become available. After surgery, they must undergo follow-up exams and take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives.
A trademark of the Scripps program is the use of a steroid-free medications approach in postsurgical patients for suppressing the immune system and preventing rejection of the new organ. Those therapies are an alternative to steroidal drugs that can lead to weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and other serious side effects when taken long-term at high doses.
For more information about the Rancho Mirage clinic call 858-554-4310.
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