Cardiothoracic Surgery

Heart Transplant Surgery and Ventricular Assist Devices

A heart transplant is a major but common operation to replace a patient’s failing heart with a fully functional one from a deceased heart donor. Usually, it is performed only after all other medical options (including medications and lifestyle changes) have been exhausted in an effort to maximize the patient’s own heart function.. A transplant may well be the best option; sometimes it is the only way to save the patient’s life.

What Sets Us Apart

The University of Arizona has been performing heart transplants since 1977. We have been able to give the gift of a new heart to more than 900 patients (even to infants) since that time. Our comprehensive transplant program offers heart transplants, combined heart-lung transplants, and/or the implantation of mechanical circulatory support devices for patients with rapidly progressing heart failure. Our 1-year patient survival rates posttransplant exceed the national average.

Our CHF (congestive heart failure) service sees and evaluates each of our patients, helping to identify individual needs and expectations. Each patient becomes part of our medical and surgical team, which includes heart failure cardiologists, transplant and mechanical circulatory support cardiac surgeons, dedicated transplant coordinators, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, nutritionists, neuropsychologists, social workers, and support staff.

At the University of Arizona, we believe that heart transplants not only save lives but also help restore quality of life. A transplant may not always be the right answer for every patient, but our comprehensive evaluation enables physicians to determine all of the options available for maximizing recovery from heart failure and to help all patients choose the most appropriate treatment plan for them: continued medical therapy, resynchronization therapy with our electrophysiology experts, mechanical circulatory support, or a transplant. Our goal is to extend both the quality and the quantity of each patient’s life.

Make an Appointment

Anyone can refer to the heart program at Banner University Medical Center- Tucson, including patients.

  • If you are a physician who is interested in referring a patient, please contact the physician resource line at (800) 777-7552, or (520) 694-5868 (Tucson), (520) 694-2229 Fax.

  • For patients wishing to inquire about heart or lung transplant at Banner University of Arizona Medical Center, please call (520) 694-5200 (Tucson), (520) 694-2692 Fax.

  • For heart/lung transplants: Your appointments will be scheduled by the administrative staff in the cardiothoracic (heart/lung) transplant office. You can be seen at the Banner University of Arizona Medical Center- Tucson. To schedule your appointment, please contact the cardiothoracic transplant office at (520) 694-5200.