Cardiac transplantation is one of the most successful treatments for end-stage heart failure. When heart failure worsens to the point that the prognosis is poor despite the use of medications and pacemaker-type devices, heart transplantation may be the best option. Careful screening by the transplant program will determine which patients are suitable candidates. To be listed with the national organization, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), patients have to be formally approved by the transplant program.

The transplant surgery occurs at Intermountain Medical Center & Primary Children's Medical Center by expert surgeons aided by transplant cardiologists, critical care specialists, cardiac anesthesiologists, pathologists, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, social workers, dieticians, and pharmacists.

Living with a transplanted heart requires a strict regimen of medication and follow up visits. Immunosuppression is the backbone of the medical regimen. These medications keep the immune system in check to decrease the likelihood of rejection of the transplanted heart. Long term follow up with the transplant program is necessary to adjust levels of immunosuppression, monitor for rejection, and prevent or treat other possible conditions that may develop.

U.T.A.H (Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals) Cardiac Transplant Program

The U.T.A.H (Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals) Cardiac Transplant Program at Intermountain Medical Center is one of the most successful heart transplant programs in the nation. The Program’s unique model utilizes skill, expertise, and resources from four local hospitals: Intermountain Medical Center, Primary Children’s Medical Center, University Health Care, and the George E. Wahlen Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center. This cooperation, along with teamwork among each hospitals’ departments, enhances clinical expertise. The program serves as a model for other transplant programs through its efficiency and outcomes. The survival rate after heart transplantation in the U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program at Intermountain Medical Center ranks among the best in the nation.

Program Accomplishments

  • One of the first Medicare-approved cardiac transplant centers
  • Contributed to most transplant-related research related to immunosuppressive medications, preventing opportunistic infection in transplant recipients, and in heart transplant rejection
  • One of a few programs to have performed over 1,000 cardiac transplant procedures
  • Over 200 peer-reviewed publications
  • Nearly $7 million in research grants
  • Over 57 heart failure/heart transplant trainees

Pediatric Heart Transplant Program

Primary Children's Medical Center is the only full-service pediatric tertiary care center between Denver and the West Coast. It serves a greater area than any other children's medical center in the United States. The philosophy at Primary Children's is manifest by its motto, "The Child First and Always." This commitment to children has not only endured through years of growth and specialization, but has intensified.

With this philosophy in mind, the Primary Children's Medical Center Heart Transplant Program was established in February of 1988 as the pediatric arm of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program (U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program). Our goal is to provide children with end-stage heart disease an opportunity to meet two basic needs:

  • To be active, participating members of their family and community.
  • To grow and develop, both emotionally and physically, with minimal, if any, limitation or restriction from heart disease.
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