Heart Transplant Program

heart transplant

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.

Are you a candidate? Call us.

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.

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

With recent concerns surrounding COVID-19 and limiting public gatherings, we are canceling support group meetings until further notice.

Heart transplant support group

This group meets quarterly. The group is casual and informal. A light meal will be provided. You can also check out our Facebook page.

For questions, contact:

Stephanie Dunaway

Heather Ross

Cayla Hardesty

Emily Norris


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

Patient stories

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 »

Heart transplant patient Joe MadisonHeart transplant at UK brings new life to longtime chauffeur

Talkative and energetic, Madison never liked to sit still. At one point, he was working three jobs to keep himself busy.

But about five years ago, his hectic lifestyle came to a halt when he fell ill. As his health worsened, he got some startling news: He had congestive heart failure. Read Joe's story »

Conrad WebsterConrad Webster knew his time was almost up. A double transplant changed that.

Louisville man receives heart, kidney transplants at UK HealthCare

He pushed through a failing heart for a decade, determined to avoid undergoing a transplant. But in the past year, 49-year-old Conrad Webster knew his time was almost up. Read Conrad's story »