Departmental Highlights

Drs. Norman Shumway, left, and Donald C. Harrison meet the press after they perform the first adult human transplant in the United States in January 1968.

Stanford is able to leverage a series of "firsts," including the first heart transplant in the US, the first heart-lung transplant in the world, and one of the first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) procedures in the world. Stanford dominates the market in programs involving a high percentage of complex procedures. Several of Stanford's most successful cardiac programs have a broad geographical base, with over 20% of the volume for heart transplants, aorta and valve procedures coming from outside the Bay Area. Stanford also has a strong international cardiac market with cardiac patients representing more than 50% of overall international business. 

Dr. Bruce Reitz and his surgical team perform the world’s first successful combined adult human heart-lung transplant in 1981

Department research, faculty prominently featured at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017

Attracting nearly 20,000 attendees annually from around the world, the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions is one of the most prominent forums for disseminating the latest breakthroughs in cardiovascular surgery and medicine. The Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was well-represented at this year’s conference. The event began with an early career session, which focused on providing guidance and mentorship to trainees and young surgeons.

Drs. Richard Ha and Joseph Woo use innovative method to keep teen alive for heart transplant

Abraham Maga's heart and lungs had failed and he would have died very quickly without an intervention. The traditional method of keeping Maga alive using a device called an ECMO (for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) would have required he stay in bed until a heart was available for transplantation. Instead Dr. Richard Ha figured out a way to connect the device directly to Maga's heart rather than through an artery, allowing the boy to leave his bed and even leave the hospital.