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Heart Transplant Program

A multidisciplinary approach to transplant care

The heart transplant program at UK Transplant Center offers comprehensive care for transplant patients. Our heart transplant program was founded in 1991, and since that time we have performed hundreds of heart transplants for patients with end-stage heart disease. In fact, UK Transplant Center holds the record for the most heart transplants in one year by a single center in Kentucky.

Our highly trained doctors and nurses specialize in the complex medical needs of heart transplant patients, while our team’s social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists and support staff offer personalized plans to help our patients and their families throughout the entire transplant process — before, during and after surgery. 

Advanced technology is a critical part of our program, which offers mechanical circulatory support and left ventricular assist devices, or LVADs, as part of our heart failure and transplant care. These technologies help make it possible for our transplant team to offer patients the highest level of care.

  • Locations


    Gill Heart & Vascular Institute

    UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital - Pavilion G

    Gill Heart & Vascular Institute
    First Floor, Suite G100
    800 Rose St.
    Lexington KY 40536
    Fax 859-257-7402

    Medical Plaza East

    UK Transplant & Specialty Clinic

    Medical Plaza East
    Suite 150
    3 Audubon Plaza Drive
    Louisville KY 40217

    Services available: Heart, Lung, Liver, Kidney, Pancreas, Living Donor


    Marshall Cardiology

    Erma Ora Byrd Center

    Fourth Floor
    1249 15th St.
    Huntington WV 25701

    This clinic takes place on the fourth Friday of every month.

  • About heart transplant

    Heart transplantation is a surgical procedure that allows doctors to remove a diseased or failing heart muscle and replace it with a donated healthier heart. Heart transplants are usually a last resort after other medical approaches have been attempted. Common approaches include medications, surgical procedures or placement of assistive devices like a VAD.

    Even though a heart transplant is a major surgery, chances of survival are good and quality of life is also positive provided that the patient takes steps to maintain the health of the new heart.

    Other treatments

    Combined heart-lung transplant  

    Total artificial heart 

    Ventricular assist devices 

  • Education and resources

    Heart transplant education

    This informative brochure explains what you can expect at your first clinic visit.

    The purpose of this guide is to provide you and your family with a better understanding of the transplant process. The information in this book also will help you understand what questions to ask and to whom to ask those questions. We hope that by carefully reading through this book, you will be better prepared for your situation.

    Useful links

    For additional information about transplant, visit the websites listed below. These sites are reputable organizations that offer reliable information.

    Support groups

    VAD support group

    Meetings are from 1 to 3 p.m. and include lunch. Transplant patients are also welcome to attend. For information, email Tamra Halcomb or call 859-323-3517. You can also check out our Facebook page.

    November 10, 2017
    UK Chandler Hospital
    Room A.08.275
    July 20, 2018
    Location, TBD
    March 16, 2018
    Location, TBD
    September 21, 2018
    Location, TBD
    May 18, 2018
    Location, TBD
    November 16, 2018
    Location, TBD

    Heart transplant support group

    Meetings are from 3 to 5 p.m. in Pavilion-A, Room 01.605b. The group is casual and informal. A light meal will be provided.

    • December 13, 2017
    • March 7, 2018
    • June 6, 2018
    • September 5, 2018

    For questions, contact:

    Heather Ross

    Cayla Hardesty

    Summer Davies


  • Make an appointment

    Appointments available

    If you are a new patient or would like to learn more about UK HealthCare Transplant Center services, please call us toll-free at 866-285-4337.

    Current patients

    If you are a patient and need to reach a member of your transplant team, please contact us at:

    Heart transplant team
    Toll-free: 800-456-5287
    Local: 859-323-4620

  • A matter of heart

    Reuben Ligon with his grandsons.Reuben Ligon had a broken heart for years.

    When it came time to replace it with a transplanted one, there was only one place he would trust for the surgery: UK.

    Congestive heart disease had plagued Reuben Ligon for almost 40 years. It limited his ability to work as a diesel mechanic – a job he loves – and to enjoy time with his family, which includes two sons, a daughter and, now, six grandsons.

    It finally threatened his life. Read Reuben's story »