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Heart Transplantation

UC San Diego Health's heart transplant program began in 1989 under the direction of the internationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Stuart W. Jamieson, MB, FRCS. 

The program performed its first heart transplant in 1990 and has since performed over 175 heart transplants, with results that exceed national standards for heart transplantation for people with irreversible, life-threatening heart disease. In 2011, our surgeons were the first on the West Coast to implant an FDA-approved total artificial heart.

Our program’s philosophy focuses on comprehensive and compassionate patient care tailored to the individual patient, with the involvement of a multidisciplinary team of experts in the fields of advanced heart failure, cardiac surgery, cardiac transplantation and alternatives to transplant such as long-term mechanical assistance or opportunities to participate in the latest research trials.

Why Would Someone Need a Heart Transplant?

A heart transplant is a treatment option for irreversible, life-threatening heart diseases that cannot be managed by other medical or surgical methods. These conditions may include:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Severe coronary artery disease
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Defects in heart valves leading to severe congestive heart failure

Our focus is to improve the quality and longevity of our patients' lives. Our patient outcomes at meet or exceed national standards of excellence.

Lung and Heart-Lung Transplants

We work closely with UC San Diego Health's lung transplantation program, established in 1989. The lung transplant team has performed single lung, double lung and combination heart-lung transplantations with outstanding success.

An international leader in lung transplantation, we are one of the busiest lung transplant programs on the West Coast. Since 1989, more than 270 lung transplants and 20 heart-lung transplants have been performed with excellent results. Our surgeons are proud to have some of the longest surviving heart-lung transplant patients in the world.

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Meet Our Specialists

Video: One Heart Goes to Two People in Rare Transplant

First on the West Coast to Implant an FDA-Approved Total Artificial Heart

artifical heart UC San Diego Medical Center performed the West Coast’s first implant of the world’s only FDA-approved total artificial heart. During the four-hour procedure, the patient’s diseased heart was completely removed and replaced by a lifesaving device that rapidly restored blood flow to his entire body. The patient, who suffered from a near-fatal heart virus in his 20s, recently underwent heart transplant surgery and is now recovering. Read more.

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