Steve Jobs' liver transplant confirmed

The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute has confirmed that Apple's Steve Jobs did indeed undergo a liver transplant operation.

The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute has confirmed that Apple's Steve Jobs did indeed undergo a liver transplant operation.

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 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. Mr. Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis.

The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute performed 120 liver transplants in 2008 making it one of the ten largest liver transplant centers in the United States. 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. We respect and protect every patient's private health information and cannot reveal any further information on the specifics of Mr. Jobs's case.

Now, while it's good news that the prognosis is rated as excellent, this official confirmation from the medical facility does highlight just how sick Jobs has been. While Apple is able to dodge a lot of the flak that investors might kick up as a result of being kept in the dark, I'm certain that some will see this as an example of Apple once again being economical with the truth and keeping investors in the dark about something that could, potentially at any rate, have a huge impact of AAPL share price. To many Steve Jobs isn't just the CEO of Apple, he's the keystone to the company's success.

The leave of absence, the leaked news of the transplant the other day, and now this is a pretty solid indicator that Apple (perhaps even independent of Jobs ... remember this is a company that pretty much exiled the co-founder for over a decade) has been pulling a lot of media strings in the background. The question of how much Apple's board knew about Jobs' health prior to him taking a leave of absence and whether there was a disclosure issue I'll leave to others to think about, but I feel that shareholders from this point on will demand to be kept in the loop far more than they have if Jobs is to come back to Apple. While many investors I've spoken too are excited to see Jobs return to apple, some feel that now is the time for a transition of power at Apple and that Jobs should take a back seat.

While it seems that Jobs is coming back to Apple for now, a post-Jobs Apple has to now be something the company addresses with shareholders.