This hospital is a national research base in central and southern China for transplantation technologies on human organ, tissue and cellular levels. The hospital has the capacity to conduct major organ transplants on a large scale and now leads the country in the total number of solid organ transplants performed, including liver, kidney, combined liver-kidney, combined heart-lung, and intestinal transplants.317 318
In 1998, the hospital successfully conducted its first kidney transplant operation. In August 2001, the hospital invested nearly one billion RMB to build the Hunan Transplant Medical Center, including a dialysis center, laboratory, laminar flow operating rooms, an ICU ward, and 150 transplantation beds. Meanwhile, the center became the Hunan Province Transplantation Medical Center.319 Organ transplantation became a trump card of the hospital’s development.320
The hospital experienced tremendous growth. Its new surgery building became operational on April 9, 2008. The 98-metre-tall building represents 600 million RMB in investment and has 1,000 beds.321
In October 2002, Ye Qifa, a well-known transplant medical specialist in China, led a team of eight fellow transplantation experts to join the Third Xiangya Hospital. In July 2003, Ye successfully performed a highly complex piggyback combined liver-kidney transplant. This was the first such case in China.322
On September 18, 2003, the Hunan Transplantation Medical Engineering and Technology Research Center was established in this hospital. The center arranged seven liver and kidney transplants on that day. Huang Jiefu, then Deputy Minister of Health, attended the inaugural ceremony and was said to have performed a liver transplant.323
In August 2004, the Changde Branch of the Central South University Xiangya Transplantation Medical School was established in Changde Third People’s Hospital. The kidney transplant center was established in this branch.324
In 2005, the Transplant Medicine Engineering and Technology Research Center affiliated with Ministry of Health was officially established in this hospital. Its mission was to build an important national base specializing in clinical transplantation medical research and related industry development. The center also collaborated with the World Health Organization and the International Xenotransplantation Association to develop xenograft international norms (the Changsha Standard).325
In 2006, hospital president Huang Zufa said in an interview, “Our hospital once performed 2 liver and 5 kidney transplants at the same time. We already have the ability to do 6 or 7 transplant surgeries at the same time. In short, our hospital’s overall strength in transplant medicine is at an advanced level nationwide.”326
This center carries out combined liver-kidney, liver-pancreas, liver-intestine, pancreas-kidney, spleen, pancreas, heart, thyroid, parathyroid, split liver, and relative-donor liver transplants, as well as that of other solid organs. Its piggyback liver transplant surgery leads the field in China, while kidney transplantation has become a routine surgery at the hospital.
Ye Qifa, a doctoral and postdoctoral advisor, is the current director of the Laboratory of the Transplantation Medicine Engineering Research Center under the Ministry of Health. He was previously the deputy director of the Tongji Organ Transplant Institute. His transplant team at Xiangya consists of more than 20 professors and associate professors and about 100 staff members. All of its researchers in basic and applied research hold doctoral degrees.
Huang Zufa, the dean of the Xiangya Transplant Medicine Research Institute of Central South University and the director of the Hunan Transplant Medical Center, specializes in liver and kidney transplantation.327