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Heart Transplants

Why Choose University of Colorado Hospital for Your Heart Transplant?

The University of Colorado Hospital Heart Transplant Program began in 1986.

Heart transplant patients at University of Colorado Hospital benefit from an integrated team approach that meets their medical, surgical, psychological, spiritual, nutritional and financial needs.

We are Medicare approved and considered a Center of Excellence by many insurance carriers.

Recognized as an Optum Center of Excellence

A Center of Excellence

Our heart transplant program is recognized as an Optum® Center of Excellence, which signals to health care professionals and consumers that UCH meets or exceeds nationally recognized standards of care.


View the Optum COE certificate

What is a Heart Transplant?

A heart transplant is sometimes the only option for someone with congestive heart failure who has not responded to medical treatment.

 The transplant uses the heart of a brain-dead person that is identified as a good match for the recipient.

Patient Education about Heart Transplants

The transition from chronic illness to having a healthy transplanted heart calls for many psychological and social lifestyle changes. It is important for you to understand both the Heart Transplant Process and how to stay healthy after the transplant so that you can return to a normal life.

Heart Transplant: Getting a Second Opinion

A heart transplant is a major surgery. It is important to feel comfortable with both your doctors and the staff, as you will spend much time with them. University of Colorado Hospital is happy to offer a second opinion and to work with you if you choose to come to our hospital for your surgery.

All first appointments must be initiated by a referring cardiologist.

Lung and Heart Transplant Support Group

Anschutz Medical Campus
Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion
1635 Aurora Court
Room 2006/2005 on the 2nd Floor
Aurora, CO 80045

  • Meets quarterly (March, June, September, December) from 3 p.m. to approximately 5 p.m.
  • Meetings feature introductions, social time and an educational guest speaker.
  • Lung transplant and heart transplant candidates, recipients, support family or friends, and medical staff are invited to attend.
  • Beverages are provided.

The Lung and Heart Transplant Support Group reaches throughout the Rocky Mountain region and beyond. If you live outside the Denver area and cannot attend the group meeting, we also extend our connection through the Internet, e-mail and phone.

For more information, contact Katie Mortimer, support group coordinator and Lung and Heart Transplant social worker, at (720) 848-2257 or send her an email.

Additional Heart Transplant Resources

UCH's Long History of Excellence

Our faculty has extensive experience in heart transplant and continually conducts research aimed at improving outcomes.

In the years ahead, we expect the University of Colorado Hospital Heart Transplant Program to be one of the premier heart transplant centers in the nation.

  • Our team has performed more than 350 heart transplants in adults and children since 1988.
  • After transplantation, the one-year survival rate is over 90 percent, and the three-year rate is over 85 percent.
  • The average hospital stay (from date of transplant to discharge) for a heart transplant is 14 days.
  • We are currently studying the effects of new drugs that reduce rejection rates.
  • We are conducting research aimed at making better use of donor hearts.
  • University of Colorado Hospital has an entire floor dedicated to transplant patients. All patients receive medical care by a team of experts who are specifically trained to address transplant patients’ special needs.

Beth's heart transplant story

Beth's congenital heart defects required diligent monitoring, but caused her little trouble – until an echocardiogram revealed a heart valve that had deteriorated to the point she needed valve replacement surgery.

Her initial surgery ran into serious complications. Beth was rushed to University of Colorado Hospital, where cardiac surgeons implanted ventricular assist devices (VADs) to keep her blood circulating.

Beth was placed on the wait list for a new heart. Over five months later, Beth and her husband Mike got the call from UCH that they'd been praying for: "Beth, we have a heart for you."

Watch Beth's Story on YouTube

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