Northwell Health this week opened its new surgical transplant intensive care unit at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.
The unit cost nearly $26 million and more than doubles the footprint of the former ICU to 13,000 square feet. It’s a key component to Northwell’s anticipated opening of its liver transplant program and part of a multiyear modernization project at North Shore University Hospital that includes a $325 million advanced surgical pavilion.
The state Department of Health granted preliminary approval for the liver transplant program about a year ago. Final approval is expected by late April, said Dr. Lewis Teperman, director of transplant surgery at Northwell Health.
"We should be up and running by May," Teperman said. "We've put a large amount of resources toward this. There is a great need."
Northwell said there are about 1,200 people awaiting liver transplants in the state, and 50 percent of them live in the health system's area, which includes Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
North Shore University Hospital's Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases treated more than 6,400 outpatients in 2018.
Northwell has established four organ transplantation programs in the last 12 years. North Shore University Hospital has been performing adult kidney transplants since 2007, and Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park has offered a pediatric kidney transplant program since April 2017.
Northwell in early 2018 launched an adult heart transplant program at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital.
"At North Shore we do about 100 kidney transplants per year," Teperman said. "We will do about 20 heart transplants this year.
"We expect the liver transplants to follow the same trajectory," he said.
Eight other hospitals in the state perform liver transplants: Manhattan's New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Mount Sinai Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical Center; Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
Northwell's new ICU will also focus on kidney transplants, colorectal surgery, pancreatic islet-cell surgery and bariatric procedures. It features 18 private rooms, three isolation rooms and two family waiting rooms.