Tampa General Hospital Reaches Milestone with a Total of 7500 Kidney Transplants

Published: Dec 20, 2022

The hospital’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Center sets a record as it continues to address the increasing demand for this vital organ.


Tampa, FL (Dec. 20, 2022) – Filling a critical need for people hoping for a donor kidney, Tampa General Hospital (TGH), surgeons with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Tampa General Medical Group and nephrologists with Florida Kidney Physicians, LLC recently set a record with the 7,500th kidney transplant at the hospital. Tampa General’s first kidney transplant was in 1974.


“It’s an important number and milestone because it shows how Tampa General, year after year, has been meeting the need for these patients,’’ said Dr. Anthony Watkins, Tampa General’s surgical director of Kidney Transplant and associate professor in the Department of Surgery at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “Thanks to our world-class team, thousands of patients have received this life-changing, and often life-saving, surgery.’’


In 2020, Tampa General’s Kidney Transplant Program was ranked third in the nation by volume and in 2021, the Institute performed 563 total organ transplants. Currently, the TGH Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Center is one of the top five kidney transplant programs in the country and the top living donor kidney transplant program in the state of Florida for the last three years.

“Our goal is to provide patients with the most advanced, comprehensive, compassionate and personalized care possible,” said Dr. Rajendra Baliga, Tampa General medical director of Kidney Transplant, clinical assistant professor for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and president of Florida Kidney Physicians, LLC. “There is a huge need for world-class kidney care, and we’re providing it. Every kidney counts because every life counts.’’

A kidney transplant is used to treat kidney failure (also called end-stage renal disease, ESRD), a condition in which kidneys can function at only a fraction of their normal capacity. People with ESRD need either dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. 

More than 90,000 Americans currently are waiting for a potentially life-saving kidney donation. However, less than 25,000 operations were performed last year. Every 10 minutes, a person is added to the overall national transplant waiting list, according to Donate Life America, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Virginia.

Since it began nearly 50 years ago, the TGH Transplant Institute has performed more than 12,000 transplant surgeries. In October 2022, the Institute successfully completed 76 organ transplants, setting a record for any single month. This included 50 kidneys, 18 livers, four lungs, three hearts, and one kidney/pancreas transplant.

“This new milestone is another sign that Tampa General is one of the busiest – and safest – transplant centers in the nation,’’ said Dr. Kiran Dhanireddy, vice president, chief of the TGH Transplant Institute and associate professor in the Department of Surgery in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

In addition to performing kidney transplants on adults, Tampa General’s Kidney Transplant Program has cared for children and adolescents who need transplants due to reduced kidney function caused by chronic kidney disease or other conditions. This achievement includes 359 pediatric patients receiving kidney transplants since 1983 in close collaboration with USF Health Pediatric Nephrology. 

“The goal of kidney transplantation in children is to provide a duration and quality of life similar to their healthy peers,” emphasized Dr. Alfonso Campos, associate professor and director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology in the Department of Pediatrics in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and medical director of Tampa General’s Pediatric Kidney Transplant program. “Children with end-stage renal disease present complex problems that are frequently different than those in adults. Successfully meeting this challenge requires a specialized multidisciplinary team in conjunction with dedication and care from the patient’s families.”

To become an organ donor, Florida residents can visit Donate Life Florida.



Tampa General Hospital, a 1,040-bed, not-for-profit, academic medical center, is one of the largest hospitals in America and delivers world-class care as the region’s only center for Level l trauma and comprehensive burn care. Tampa General Hospital is the highest-ranked hospital in the market in U.S. News & World Report's 2022-23 Best Hospitals, and is tied as the third highest-ranked hospital in Florida, with seven specialties ranking among the best programs in the United States. Tampa General Hospital has been designated as a model of excellence by the 2022 Fortune/Merative 100 Top Hospitals list. The academic medical center’s commitment to growing and developing its team members is recognized by two prestigious Forbes magazine rankings – first nationally in the 2022 America’s Best Employers for Women and sixth out of 100 Florida companies in the 2022 America's Best Employers by State. Tampa General is the safety net hospital for the region, caring for everyone regardless of their ability to pay, and in fiscal year 2021, provided a net community benefit worth more than $224.5 million in the form of health care for underinsured patients, community education, and financial support to community health organizations in Tampa Bay. It is one of the nation’s busiest adult solid organ transplant centers and is the primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. With six medical helicopters, Tampa General Hospital transports critically injured or ill patients from 23 surrounding counties to receive the advanced care they need. Tampa General houses a nationally accredited comprehensive stroke center, and its 32-bed Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit is the largest on the West Coast of FloridaIt also is home to the Jennifer Leigh Muma 82-bed neonatal intensive care unit, and a nationally accredited rehabilitation center. Tampa General Hospital’s footprint includes 17 Tampa General Medical Group Primary Care offices, TGH Family Care Center Kennedy, TGH Brandon Healthplex, TGH Virtual Health, and 21 TGH Imaging powered by Tower outpatient radiology centers throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. Tampa Bay area residents also receive world-class care from the TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track network of clinics, and they can even receive home visits in select areas through TGH Urgent Care at Home, powered by Fast Track. As one of the largest hospitals in the country, Tampa General Hospital is the first in Florida to partner with GE Healthcare and open a clinical command center that provides real-time situational awareness to improve and better coordinate patient care at a lower cost. For more information, go to www.tgh.org.

USF Health's mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the Taneja College of Pharmacy, the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate and Postdoctoral Programs, and USF Health’s multispecialty physicians’ group. The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News & World Report’s national university rankings than USF. For more information, visit