Patient Care

UR Medicine Heart Transplant Team Celebrates 200 Hearts, 200 Second Chances

Nov. 3, 2016

UR Medicine Heart and Vascular celebrated 200 second chances with an Oct. 22 reunion of heart transplant recipients, generous families of organ donors and staff from Strong Memorial Hospital and Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.

Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists with the Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation completed the 200th heart transplant Aug. 24. To date, the team has performed 203 heart transplants, thanks to the gift of life provided through organ donation.

Strong Memorial is the only comprehensive heart failure and transplant center in upstate New York, serving the vast majority of the state, from Northern New York to the Pennsylvania state line.

The Program in Heart Failure and Transplantation provides comprehensive care, using pharmacologic and high-tech devices to manage heart failure in addition to transplant surgery.

UR Medicine is a national leader in the use of ventricular assist devices (VAD) as a therapy for heart failure. VADs are implantable pumps that supplement or replace a patient’s heart function to keep them alive and as healthy as possible while they wait for a new heart. They also are used as long-term therapy for patients who are not eligible for transplant.

In 2012, UR Medicine cardiologists introduced the total artificial heart, a bridge-to-transplant device for patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure, a condition in which both sides of the heart become weakened and cannot pump blood adequately throughout the body.

The Heart & Vascular program also offers a Cardiac Critical Care Transport Team composed of cardiac critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, perfusionists and physicians. The team uses a vehicle equipped with leading-edge technology to assist patients being rushed from outlying areas to the Medical Center for expert care.