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Alternate Heart Transplant Program

Program Director:
Laks, Hillel M.D.

Contact Phone Number
(310) 206-8232

Description of Clinical Program
UCLA has established the nation's first alternate donor program to offer transplantation to seniors with end-stage heart disease. (Most transplant centers will not transplant individuals over the age of 65).

The donor hearts used in this program either require bypass surgery prior to transplantation or originate from older donors. Both types of hearts are often rejected by other transplant centers, but have proven successful in extending the lives of seniors at UCLA. To date, the UCLA transplant team has performed 18 alternate transplants with excellent results.

Dr. Hillel Laks was the first U.S. surgeon to "repair" a donor heart prior to transplantation. In 1992, he performed a quadruple bypass on a 53-year-old donor heart and transplanted it into a 68-year-old male. Today, UCLA's first alternate recipient is 72 years of age, and says he feels better today than he did 20 years ago.

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