Our Program

First performed by cardiac surgeon Christian Barnard at Groote Schuur Hospital in South Africa in December 1967, human-to-human heart transplantation has become a viable treatment option for patients with end-stage cardiac disease. As a world-recognized leader and innovator in heart, heart-lung, lung transplantation and cardiothoracic surgery, the USC Heart Transplant Program team is composed of experts in their respective fields of cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, pulmonary medicine, immunology, critical care medicine, cystic fibrosis, immunosuppression and rehabilitation. We provide a full range of reparative operations for acquired heart disease such as coronary artery disease and arrhythmias.

Patients eligible for heart transplantation include patients with end-stage cardiac disease not amenable to conventional medical or surgical therapies. Most transplant patients are typically healthy, under the age of 70, usually have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy or coronary disease and do not have end-stage organ disease. Having had prior surgical procedures does not preclude patients from receiving heart transplantation.

Patients who are not good candidates for transplantation include those who have severe obesity, active neoplastic disease, systemic or untreatable local infection, tobacco or drug dependency, lack of adequate support systems or the inability to comply with a strict medical regimen.

Our Approach

Our comprehensive program includes continual transplant team communication with patient/family regarding all aspects of medical care. Patients and families are also given general educational materials about what is expected post-transplantation.

We place value on our relationship with the referring physician and are committed to excellent communication to foster high quality continuity of care. We are one of only a few centers on the West Coast that offers a “bridge” to transplantation utilizing the left ventricular assist device (LVAD). We are also the test center for the electrical left ventricular assist device, a mobile device that allows patients to safely wait for transplantation while in the comfort of their own home. We are also extremely pleased and proud of our survival outcomes, with more than 90 percent of our patients returning to their everyday lives.

Visit the USC Center for Advanced Heart Failure for more information on heart failure.

Our Physicians

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Practicing Locations

Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 2
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital