Hospital confirms Steve Jobs' liver transplant

Apple's CEO "has an excellent prognosis" after undergoing liver transplant surgery about two months ago at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, doctor says.

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Steve Jobs health
Apple CEO Steve Jobs briefly addressed his state of health onstage at an Apple event last October. James Martin/CNET News

A Memphis, Tenn., hospital confirmed Tuesday that Apple CEO Steve Jobs received a liver transplant there two months ago and said he is "recovering well and has an excellent prognosis."

Jobs, who returned to work at Apple's campus on Monday after a six-month medical leave, "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 a statement by Dr. James D. Eason, the program director of the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis.

"The waiting list for liver transplants was smaller than in other states, such as California," Eason said.

While Eason said the confirmation was being provided with Jobs' approval, he cited patient confidentiality in saying that he could not reveal any further information on the specifics of Jobs' surgery.

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

News of the transplant broke Friday night when The Wall Street Journal reported, in a story that cited no sources, that Jobs had received a transplant in Tennessee about two months ago. Earlier this year, Apple's CEO was reported to be relocating from California to Tennessee.

In January, after Jobs announced that he would step aside from his day-to-day duties for a six-month medical leave of absence, Bloomberg reported that Apple's CEO was considering a liver transplant.

Jobs, 54, has been the subject of heated speculation regarding his health since last June's Worldwide Developers Conference, when he appeared to have lost a great deal of weight. At the time, Apple insisted that Jobs' health was a private matter, but in early January revealed that Jobs was suffering from a hormone imbalance that was impeding his body's ability to absorb certain proteins.

In August 2004, Jobs underwent successful surgery to treat a rare form of pancreatic cancer, which sidelined him until September of that year. Much of the speculation over the past year had been over whether that cancer had returned.

Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute said it performed 120 liver transplants in 2008, making it one of the 10 largest liver transplant centers in the country.