Methodist University Hospital in Memphis confirmed late Tuesday that Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently underwent a liver transplant.
News of the transplant was first reported on Saturday by The Wall Street Journal but the hospital's statement is the first confirmation of the operation.
"Mr. Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis," said Dr. James Eason, chief of the hospital's transplantation committee, in a statement on its Web site. The news was released with the permission of Jobs, the hospital said.
Jobs received the liver because he was judged top of the waiting list at the time, Eason 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."
In its statement, the hospital also said it performed 120 liver transplants in 2008: "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 [sic] 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.
Jobs took a six-month leave of absence from Apple in January amid intense speculation regarding his health.
He returned to work this week, according to various reports from employees at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. campus.