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Steve Jobs liver transplant confirmed by doc

With Steve's permission, natch

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A Tennessee physician has confirmed that Steve Jobs has a new liver.

With a statement posted to the web, James D. Eason, M.D. - program director at Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute and the chief of transplantation - said that Jobs received a liver transplant at the institute in partnership with the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

Easton did not say when the surgery occurred. But as we reported over the weekend, a mysterious source speaking to The Wall Street Journal says the transplant happened about two months ago. Presumably, this source had the approval of the Apple PR machine. The Journal story appeared late on a Friday, on the same day Apple released the latest version of its iPhone handheld status symbol.

Releasing his statement with Jobs' permission, Eason said Jobs is "recovering well and has an excellent prognosis." Some have questioned whether the transplant was necessary, and Eason was sure to provide some justification. "Mr. Jobs underwent a complete transplant evaluation and was listed for transplantation for an approved indication in accordance with the Transplant Institute policies and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) policies," he said.

"He received a liver transplant because he was the patient with the highest MELD score (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) of his blood type and, therefore, the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available."

According to Eason, the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute performed 120 liver transplants in 2008, which makes it one of the ten largest liver-transplant centers in the US. "We provide transplants to patients regardless of race, sex, age, financial status, or place of residence. Our one-year patient and graft survival rates are among the best in the nation and were a dominant reason in Mr. Jobs’s choice of transplant centers."

In 2004, Jobs had a cancerous tumor removed from his pancreas, and ever since, the tech world has been obsessed with his health. Last year, the Apple co-founder turned up at two public events looking unusually thin, and though he initially attributed the weight loss to nutrition issues, he eventually said his health problem were "more complex" than he first thought. In January, he took a six-month leave of absence from his post as CEO of Apple's cult-like operation.

On Monday, Jobs was spotted at Apple's headquarters and in an Apple press release. Presumably, the Much Revered One is now back at work, at least on a part-time basis. ®

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