Reel Doctor Talk

It's a highly controversial procedure

by Smitha R. Chadaga MD

This past week at the Austin Film Festival (@austinfilmfest) I was lucky enough to score a seat at a panel with Marta Kaufman (@MartaFKauffman).  Among other things she was asked to cite her favorite episodes of Friends.  Which got me thinking about my favorites.  The Thanksgiving episodes are on that list. I too have issues with complex carbohydrates.  So is the one with unagi (ahhh salmon skin roll). But the one that leaped to my mind when the question was asked was The One with Joey's New Brain.  And his "brain transplant".  


It goes without saying that there is no such thing as a brain transplant. There are a number of solid organs that CAN be transplanted including:

- liver

- kidney

- pancreas

- heart

- lung

- intestine


In order to match an organ to a recipient a number of tests have to be done to make the right match:

- blood type: the donor and recipient need to have the same or compatible blood types

- human leukocyte antigens (HLA): the donor and the recipient need to have tissue types as close as possible and HLA are a marker for this

- cross matching: the recipient can't have any antibodies against the donor

- serology: the donor is tested for transmissible diseases such as HIV


By the looks of things Dr. Drake Ramoray had no issues with his brain transplant.  It must have been a perfect match.