Orchestrating Bobby Rydell’s Liver and Kidney Transplants

When South Philly native Bobby Rydell, who rose to prominence as an actor and singer in the 1950s and 60s, needed a liver transplant as well as a new kidney, he turned to the transplant specialists at Jefferson University Hospitals.

“Mr. Rydell did not have very long to live,” says Cataldo Doria, MD, PhD, FACS, the Nicoletti Family Professor of Transplant Surgery and director of the Division of Transplant Surgery at Jefferson, as well as co-director of the Liver Tumor Center.

Then in the middle of the “Wildwood Days” (1963) of summer, a liver became available for a pediatric patient at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. There wasan opportunity to split the liver with the larger portion going to Mr. Rydell, and the Jefferson team swung into action.

In addition to the portion of the donor liver, the singer would also get a kidney.

You can read more about Bobby Rydell’s double transplant and learn about the importance of split-liver transplants in Keep in Touch with Jefferson. The article and accompanying video also highlight the importance of careful coordination to successfully perform a double organ transplant with surgical teams working at several different hospitals.

Today, with the help of his team of transplant surgeons at Jefferson, this American icon of the early days of rock and roll still has “A Lot of Living to Do” (Bye Bye Birdie, 1963).

“We are thrilled with his results and hope that he will resume his normal life — including a return to the stage,” says Dr. Doria.

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  1. Double Transplant Recipient Bobby Rydell in the News | @Jeff - Keep In Touch with Jefferson University Hospitals | Serving Philadelphia, PA, NJ & the Delaware Valley - January 23, 2014

    […] a 20 hour transplant surgery at Jefferson in July 2012, Rydell had a rather speedy recover. With a new liver, kidney in addition to earlier […]

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