Organ Transplant Expertise

Surgeon

An organ transplant offers great promise for a longer or fuller life after disease has damaged an organ beyond repair. At UCLA Health, we offer world-class heart, liver, lung, cornea, bone marrow and kidney transplant services — for patients facing some of the most complex situations.

People regularly cross borders and bodies of water to seek out our transplant team’s renowned expertise. We cater to the needs of people from diverse cultures, and we are committed to partnering with you on your journey to a new life after organ transplantation.

Has your doctor recommended you for transplant surgery? Take the first step to become a patient.

UCLA International’s Transplant Care: Why Choose Us?

We excel in every type of organ transplant we offer. When you choose UCLA as a partner in your transplant care, you benefit from our:

World-class transplant expertise: We are a world leader in heart transplantation, with an international reputation for our impressive success rates. UCLA’s lung transplant program is the West Coast's largest thoracic transplant program. Our liver transplant program consistently achieves excellent outcomes, despite taking on rare, complex cases other centers decline to treat. This level of expertise allows our transplant surgeons to consistently deliver exceptional outcomes, even for complex cases.

Exciting new transplant options: UCLA Health offers four new corneal transplantation procedures that are improving outcomes. These advanced techniques allow our surgeons to help more people benefit from what is already the most common and most successful type of human transplant surgery. We are also one of the few programs in the country offering liver re-transplantation. Our team has special expertise in treating these complex cases.

Impressive results: UCLA Health transplant patients consistently experience outstanding survival rates. Our kidney transplant outcomes have exceeded the national average for two decades, in spite of taking on challenging cases. Only 5 percent of our adult patients experience rejection of a donor heart compared to 25 percent of recipients elsewhere in the U.S.

Personalized attention: Our dedicated transplant team has years of experience guiding patients through the transplant process, from pre-admission counseling to post-transplant outpatient care. Our international patients benefit from an added support professional, who helps you handle the logistics of seeking health care far from home. Learn more about our international patient support services.

Online second opinions: No matter where you live, telemedicine technology means our transplant team’s expertise is never far away. Our doctors use secure video conferencing to provide second opinion consultations to patients around the world. Get a second opinion.

Transplant Surgeries We Perform

UCLA Health provides outstanding transplant care few other institutions in the world can match. Our transplant specialists will care for you in modern, updated facilities with dedicated inpatient units and operating suites. After surgery, UCLA Health provides full-service outpatient services to help keep you healthy and active.

Bone marrow transplant

Bone marrow transplants are used to treat hematologic blood cancers, including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia. UCLA has provided bone marrow transplant expertise since 1968, when we performed one of the first bone marrow transplants in the world. We have a long track record of exceptional care, helping to pioneer the use of unrelated marrow donors for children without a family match.

We offer some of the latest treatments for cancers of the blood and bone marrow. For example, our team helped develop CAR T-cell therapy (a type of immunotherapy that activates a person’s immune system to fight cancer). In 2018, UCLA Health became one of the first hospitals in the nation to offer CAR T-cell therapy to people whose cancer hasn’t responded to other treatments.

Today, our Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant & Cellular Therapies Program uses a comprehensive care model to provide patients all the care they need in one place. A single medical team oversees a patient from diagnosis through treatment, transplant and recovery in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Learn more about bone marrow transplant.

Corneal transplant

With recent advances in corneal transplant care, we can now tailor your treatment to the specific disease causing your vision loss — helping more people restore their sight and live fuller lives. Our surgeons use sophisticated technology and minimally invasive techniques to replace only the diseased layers of the cornea, leaving healthy tissue intact.

UCLA offers four types of advanced corneal transplant procedures. For example, Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) decreases the risk of complications and helps you regain your vision so you can get back to your life soon after surgery. Artificial corneal transplantation is an option for patients who either don’t qualify for traditional corneal transplantation or underwent corneal transplant previously without successful results. 

Learn more about cornea transplant.

Heart transplant

UCLA is one of the world's busiest and most successful programs for adult heart transplants. We’re also one of the few programs to perform heart transplants on adults as well as children. Transplant centers across the western U.S. regularly send us their most complex cases. For example, UCLA patients who undergo combined heart-and-liver transplant surgery often experience better results than people who receive a heart or liver transplant at many other centers.

We offer some of the most novel care advances, including heart transplantation with an artificial heart. Our doctors are experienced in skillfully caring for patients with advanced heart failure who undergo this complex procedure.

Our novel Alternate Donor Program, now used around the country, has offered renewed hope to thousands of patients who did not meet the original criteria for transplant surgery.

Learn more about heart transplant.

Kidney transplant

UCLA performed some of the earliest kidney transplants in the 1960s, and now we’re one of the largest kidney transplant programs in the U.S. Our outcomes for both adult kidney transplant and pediatric kidney transplant have been higher than the national average for almost 20 years in a row. 

Our patients’ success can be attributed to our expert team — some of the world’s most experienced kidney transplant surgeons. We have developed and improved kidney transplant practices that have been adopted by other programs around the world. Our expertise in living kidney donation, pediatric transplantation and incompatible blood type transplant make kidney transplant surgery possible for more patients than ever before.

Learn more about kidney transplant.

Liver transplant

UCLA Health’s liver transplantation program is one of the oldest and most active in the U.S. Since the 1980s, our team has performed close to 7000 liver transplants for infants, children and adults. Our team’s extensive expertise allows us to take on the most challenging cases. This includes high acuity and redo liver transplantation, liver transplantation for cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer), and multi-organ transplants such as heart, lung, kidney, and intestine-liver transplantation. We are one of the most experienced centers in splitting a single suitable donor liver to transplant two recipients, and one of a few centers to offer living donor liver transplantation.

Our team also performs some of the most complex hepatobiliary surgery such as liver resection and biliary reconstruction for conditions such as hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer), cancer metastatic to the liver, and cholangiocarcinoma.

Our experts are responsible for developing some of today's leading liver transplant surgical techniques. We continue to spearhead research to further improve care and better manage and treat advanced liver disease.

Our multi-disciplinary team approach allows us to provide a comprehensive care experience including nutrition, psychological well-being and physical therapy before and after transplantation.

Learn more about liver transplant.

Lung transplant

UCLA is home to the busiest thoracic transplant center in the West and the second busiest in the U.S. Our team has an international reputation for our highly specialized lung transplant care. We regularly perform successful lung transplants for patients deemed ineligible at other centers.

Our experts have pioneered techniques that help us offer lifesaving lung transplants to more complex patients who are turned away elsewhere due to their age or other complicating factors. We performed the nation’s first breathing lung transplant, an experimental organ-preservation system that keeps donor lungs healthy for longer while outside the body.

We are also one of the few centers performing lung re-transplantation surgery. Even with these complex cases, our patients’ one-year survival rate is 93 percent. Our lung transplant program regularly meets or exceeds one-month, one-year and three-year graft and patient survival rates.

Learn more about lung transplant.

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