Transplantation

Our heart and lung transplantation unit, based at Harefield Hospital, is the UK’s largest and most experienced centre for heart and lung transplants. The unit works with the Heart Science Centre, which is at the forefront of research into heart disease and transplantation. 

Our expertise

  • Non-heart beating donor lung transplantation
  • Experience in performing heterotopic heart transplantation
  • Experience in live-lobar lung transplantation
  • Experience of combined heart-kidney transplantation
  • Use of mass spectrometry technology for monitoring immunosuppressant drug levels
  • Application of plasmapherisis to treat acute antibody mediated rejection in heart and lung transplantation
  • Short- and long-term mechanical circulatory support with ventricular assist devices (VADs)
  • Application of LVADs to support recovery of the patient’s heart following dilated cardiomyopathy

Our work

We have performed almost 3,000 transplant operations since Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub carried out the first heart transplant at Harefield in 1980. He also performed the world's first double heart and lung transplant in 1983.

Harefield Hospital has the best long-term survival rates in the UK for patients who have had a heart or lung transplant.

Artificial hearts

Harefield hospital has the UK's largest ventricular assist device (VAD or 'artificial heart') service. Many patients receive VADs while they wait for a transplant and we have the largest population of patients 'bridged' to transplant with an artificial heart in the UK.

Between May 2002 and March 2010, our surgeons implanted 110 LVADs (VADs for the left ventricle), and in 2011/12 they performed a further 22 implants, 27 in 2012/13 and 29 in 2013/14. 

In addition, we are pioneers in the emerging field of recovery of heart function. Our patients show the highest rate of myocardial recovery (where the heart regains strength while the VAD is assisting it) in the world. This has led to the United States using the recovery protocols developed at Harefield to aim for similar results.

Harefield is also currently at the forefront of work on VADs as an alternative to transplantation and is leading work on establishing the UK's first programme of this kind.

We run a dedicated transplant follow-up clinic – our focus is on enabling patients to live the most normal and active life possible.

Our facilities

Our dedicated transplant unit consists of two wards, with a total of 34 beds, most of which are in single or double rooms. Patients are admitted for transplant assessment, routine check-ups and unplanned admissions in the event of post-transplant complications (such as infection or organ rejection).  We run a dedicated transplant follow-up clinic – our focus is on enabling patients to live the most normal and active life possible.

Transplant services at Harefield Hospital are supported by our specialist immunosuppression monitoring services, which includes the UK National Monitoring Service for Sirolimus.

If you are a health professional who wants to find out more about transplant referrals, find out more

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