Skip to main content

Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, & LVAD Placement

For the advanced heart failure patient, University of Utah Health offers a unique option: to recover your native heart. You can do this with a combination of medications and mechanical heart pumps (MCS). This treatment allows patients to keep their native heart without needing a transplant or mechanical heart pump. 

Once the mechanical circulatory assist device (MCS) heart pump or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has done its part to assist the heart in pumping blood to the rest of the body, your heart can rest and recover. 

University of Utah Health currently provides advanced heart failure and transplant services to patients in 19 different states across the nation.

Working closely with the Salt Lake Veteran's Affairs Hospital, U of U Health is one of only five centers in the country that performs heart transplants for our veterans.

Read Our Guide to Living with Heart Failure

Read the Guide

Accreditations & Awards

High performing treatment for heart failure treatment badge from US News & World Report 2022-2023
AHA 2021 Get with the Guidelines Heart Failure Badge

Program History of Excellence

University of Utah Health Cardiovascular and Transplant Services began research in the 1960s on artificial organs and placed the first destination therapy total artificial heart in 1982. We also have over 24 years of mechanical circulatory support experience placing durable left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) for patients in end-stage heart failure.

Device improvements and on-going research has brought our program to implant 40-50 durable LVADs a year.

We list our patients as:

  • Bridge to Transplant (BTT),
  • Destination Therapy/life-time therapy (DT), and sometimes as
  • Bridge to Decision (BTD).

U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program

University of Utah Health Heart Transplant is a founding member of the Utah Transplant Affiliated Hospitals (U.T.A.H.) Cardiac Transplant Program, a cooperative effort of four major Salt Lake City area hospitals. Members of the U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program include:

  • University of Utah Health
  • The George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
  • Intermountain Medical Center
  • Primary Children’s Hospital

Since 1985, the U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program has performed a combined total of over 1,500 heart transplants. This collaboration has provided our transplant center with a unique opportunity to utilize the skill, expertise, and resources of all four medical teams and transplant programs for the benefit of all patients.

This collaboration is one of the most successful of its kind in the United States. Our patients benefit from this unique model, which utilizes the skill, expertise, and resources of all four medical teams. Since 1985, we have performed a combined total of more than 1,500 heart transplants.

Find a Specialist

Why Choose University of Utah Health

Learning you have heart damage can be devastating. We are here to provide specialized treatment and partner with you for life offering exceptional care. With you we will determine customized treatment plans that target your unique situation.

Our internationally known experts bring many years’ experience to each specialty area to give you the best care possible. We also provide high-quality, coordinated care and constantly conduct research allowing us to look for better treatments.

Multidisciplinary Specialist Collaboration

A multidisciplinary collaboration of specialists manages the program. These specialists include cardiothoracic surgeons, board-certified heart failure cardiologists, MCS/LVAD nurse coordinators, outreach and development nurse coordinators and ancillary staff.

Our unique contract with the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) is one of five centers in the nation implanting LVADs and performing heart transplants for veterans. This is a part of why our patients come from so far away.  

Shared-Care Network

We have developed a robust network of shared care with our patient’s local cardiologist and primary care physicians to ensure patients can return to their home state and receive competent collaborative care with our team. We accomplish this shared-care model by providing education and resources that are on-going.  

We strive to provide patients with their new mechanical heart pump an improved quality of life in their home town while continuing to receive quality care from University of Utah Health and the VAMC.

We aim to give you the best care from the beginning to the end of your treatment.

Utah Cardiac Recovery Symposium

Utah Cardiac Recovery Symposium

The U-CARS symposium features thought leaders and insightful speakers from around the globe who discuss current ground-breaking research in the field of cardiac recovery spanning clinical, translational, and basic sciences that are even more relevant during these unprecedented times that we live in.