Doctor explains Jobs' procedure - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Doctor explains Jobs' procedure

Dr. James Eason Dr. James Eason
Steve Jobs Steve Jobs

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The doctor who performed a liver transplant on Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs spoke to Action News 5 Wednesday about the procedure.

Dr. James Eason, a transplant surgeon at Methodist University Hospital, confirmed Tuesday night that Steve Jobs received a liver transplant at Methodist University Hospital.

Wednesday, Eason said he knows getting an organ is tough.  But did Jobs, a wealthy CEO and resident of California, use his resources to maximize his chances of getting a transplant in Memphis? 

"We pride ourselves in providing excellent care to any patient in need, regardless of their socioeconomic status," Eason said Wednesday.

Eason, who performed a liver transplant on Jobs, said there are several hurdles a recipient must go through.  The biggest challenge is gaining entry into a transplant center and undergoing testing, which can cost thousands of dollars.

"Every patient goes through a thorough and complete transplant evaluation," he said.

According to Eason, Jobs received the transplant because he was the patient with the highest Model for End-Stage Liver Disease, based on his blood type.  Eason says Jobs was the sickest patient on the national waiting list at the time, and the United Network for Organ Sharing selected him as the person best suited to receive the organ.

"We will give any patient that is an appropriate recipient the opportunity for transplantation," Eason said.

Statistics show in Tennessee there tends to be a shorter waiting list for organs. We asked Eason about the likelihood of Jobs increasing his odds of receiving a liver and cutting the wait time by coming to Memphis.

"That's the wonderful thing about America," Eason replied. "People have a choice in their healthcare, and patients can choose places they want to go."

Eason said the hospital provides transplants regardless of race, sex, age, financial status or residence.  Due to privacy rules, Eason could not reveal any specific information about Job's surgery.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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