The development of UC San Diego's comprehensive pediatric and adult heart and lung transplantation program began in 1989 under the direction of
Dr. Stuart W. Jamieson, an internationally acclaimed cardiothoracic surgeon. In July 1989, Dr. Jamieson and members of the cardiothoracic surgical faculty from the University of Minnesota relocated to San Diego and developed the UC San Diego Heart and Lung Transplant Program.
The program performed its first heart transplant in 1990, and has since performed more than 300 heart transplants (about 30 per year), with results that exceed national standards for heart transplantation for people with irreversible, life-threatening heart disease. In 2011, our surgeons were the first on the West Coast to implant an FDA-approved total artificial heart.
Our program continues to experience significant growth, and we are on track to perform the largest number of heart transplants at UC San Diego ever this year—more than 50.
Our transplant team includes an experienced core group of cardiothoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, and cardiologists supported by the heart and lung transplant nurse coordinators, transplant social worker, pharmacist and dietician.
The UC San Diego Heart and Lung Transplantation program received HCFA Medicare certification for heart transplantation in March 1994 and Medicare certification for heart-lung and lung transplantation in February 1995. In June 1994, UCSD became a Medi-Cal approved center for adult heart, heart-lung, and lung transplantation.