UCLA's Heart Transplant Program is one of the world's busiest for adult patients, with more than 2,000 transplants performed since we began in 1984. We have built an international reputation for outstanding success in adult heart transplant.
Why Choose UCLA for Adult Heart Transplant?
UCLA Health consistently ranks among the top five hospitals in the nation, and the Best in the West, according to U.S. News & World Report's annual Best Hospitals survey.
This reputation is based in large part on our patient outcomes for heart transplant:
- Our patients' graft survival rates and patient survival rates regularly rank higher than expected, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).
- Our donor-heart rejection rate is the lowest in the country (just 5 percent of patients, compared to the national average of 25 percent). We have achieved that with pioneering work using newer anti-rejection medications and strategic use of statins.
- We don't require biopsy to check for rejection at the one-year mark after transplant. Instead, we use a blood test developed by a UCLA heart transplant physician.
- We were the first program to develop an alternate waiting list pairing older patients with older donors, allowing them to undergo transplantation and achieve the same top outcomes.
Learn more about our heart transplantation procedure.
Full Spectrum of Cardiovascular Care
While some programs only specialize in one type of care, our team excels in numerous areas of heart transplantation and related medicine:
Care for all phases of cardiovascular dysfunction: Our physicians have expertise in cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure and congenital heart disease.
Specialization in adult congenital heart disease: The Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center offers unique strengths in caring for adult patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). Our heart transplant program works closely with the center, and in the past decade, we've demonstrated that even the highest-risk CHD patients can have excellent transplantation outcomes.
Pediatric-to-adult transition: UCLA provides pediatric heart transplant and then follow-up care through adulthood, in one facility, with one collaborative medical team. Our specially trained transition to adult care coordinators address each patient's individual needs.
Heart Transplant for Patients with Cardiomyopathy
Often, patients with serious cardiomyopathy find themselves on the path to heart transplant, a potentially life-saving solution.
At UCLA, we believe the best option is to keep your own heart as long as possible. To support that goal, we do everything we can to help patients maintain their heart with reparative therapies before moving toward transplantation or mechanical support. These cardiac surgery therapies might include:
- CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) surgery
- Valve repair
- Other treatments
Once reparative options are exhausted, we'll present all other reasonable options for medical therapy and palliative care, following our approach to care.
Patients with cardiomyopathy have access to a full range of treatments, including:
- Heart transplant
- Ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to transplant or as destination therapy
- Innovations such as the CardioMEMS HF System, the first implantable heart-failure monitoring device
Many patients who come to UCLA for heart transplants are particularly high-risk and may require additional organ transplants. UCLA is at the forefront of combined organ transplant and has successfully treated these complex patients:
- UCLA is the largest thoracic transplant program on the West Coast. Combined, our heart and lung transplant volumes are among the largest in the U.S.
- We are skilled in the transplantation of all solid organs:
- Heart transplant
- Lung transplant
- Liver transplant
- Kidney transplant
- Pancreas transplant
- Small intestine transplant
Clinical Innovation, Research and Trials
Our groundbreaking heart transplant program has developed and improved the approaches that now define heart transplantation care.
We're also making advances in operational techniques, foundational biology, immunology, genome-based therapy and pharmacological therapy for end-stage heart disease. Learn more about our research and trials.
Support Before, During and After Transplant
We offer ongoing support for all heart transplant patients:
- Personalized care: From the moment patients walk through the door, through the procedure and for years to come, we take pride in leading the practice of relational medicine. With our approach to care, patients take part in decision-making. Our patient peer network offers additional support as you go through the transplant process.
- Centralized evaluation: Cardiology care and evaluations take place in one centralized area, and we schedule appointments to minimize multiple visits whenever possible.
- Rehabilitation and follow-up: Our rehabilitation and follow-up protocols help you return home as soon as possible.
Learn more about the patient experience on our patient education page.