Penn Medicine Performs 1000th Heart Transplant

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Media Contact:Jessica Mikulski | jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-8369December 5, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — Marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the program, Penn Medicine physicians have completed their 1000th lifesaving heart transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). The 1000th patient was transplanted on Sunday, December 2, 2012 and is doing well.

“This milestone was made possible by the tireless dedication of a multidisciplinary team at the Penn Medicine Heart & Vascular Center over the last two decades, including cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nursing staff, nutritionists, social workers, and transplant nurse practitioners and nurses,” said Lee R. Goldberg, MD, MPH, medical director, Penn Medicine Heart Failure and Transplantation Program. “Working closely with our patients and their families and our partners at Gift of Life Donor Program, we’ve been able to make significant progress in heart transplantation care."

Established in 1987, the Penn Medicine heart transplant program, part of the Penn Transplant Institute’s multi-organ transplant center at HUP, has been at the forefront of medical care and clinical advances in the area of heart failure and heart transplantation, including offering multiple organ transplantation – such as heart-lung and heart-liver transplants.

The program performs more adult heart transplants per year than all other Philadelphia area hospitals combined, making it one of the top three heart transplantation programs in the nation. Even though the program’s faculty and staff treat some of the most complex cases, Penn Medicine’s heart transplant outcomes are among the nation’s best, with three-year survival rates greater than 80 percent.

As a leader in transplantation technology since the program’s foundation, Penn was the first heart transplant center in the Philadelphia region to receive certification for total artificial heart (TAH-t) implantation, performing the first TAH-t operation in the Northeast in 2007. That patient later went on to receive a full heart transplant, and is alive and well today. Cardiologists and surgeons at Penn have also been leaders in testing the latest in mechanical cardiac devices, such as ventricular assist devices (VADs), which support or replace heart functions while patients are on the transplant waiting list, or as permanent therapy when transplant is not an option.  The program is the largest mechanical circulatory support program in the region, placing more ventricular assist devices than any other program in the Delaware Valley. 

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