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Heart Transplant

If you or a loved one need a heart transplant, it’s reassuring to know that caring experts are ready to support you through the journey.

Heart transplant doctor and patient

If you or a loved one needs a heart transplant, it’s reassuring to know that caring experts are ready to support you through the journey. The team at the University of Florida Health Shands Transplant Center has more than 30 years of experience in advanced heart failure therapies and heart transplantation techniques. We focus on the unique needs of each patient, providing advanced medical treatments with sensitivity and concern.

Heart transplant patient
USNWR cardiology badge 2022

UF Health Shands Hospital is recognized as a top-performing institute for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

The UF Health difference

As a patient in our heart transplant program, you benefit from our experience and expertise.


The cardiovascular surgeons at the UF Health Shands Transplant Center performed their first heart transplant in 1985. Since then, the collaborative heart transplant team has performed more than 1,180 heart transplants. Our decades of experience have taught us that every patient’s journey to heart transplantation is unique. Our experts collaborate to develop personalized plans of care for each individual, assessing each patient’s medical condition, values and wishes as they cope with the challenges of living with congestive heart failure. The UF Health heart transplant team is proud to be the primary referral center in the Southeast for high-risk heart failure patients, including those with congenital heart disease and patients in need of combined organ transplants such as heart, lung, liver and kidney.


Our doctors conduct research and clinical trials to develop advanced heart transplant surgery techniques that are not offered anywhere else. Our transplant team is also a regional resource to physicians and other medical professionals.

What to expect

Our Patient Education section gives you information about the heart transplant process, from being evaluated as a candidate, what to expect during the procedure, and aftercare.

Heart transplant patient in a wheelchair

Heart transplant services

  • Heart failure: This program focuses on the evaluation and treatment of patients across the entire spectrum of congestive heart failure syndromes at all stages. This includes expert disease management programs for the most common causes of heart failure as well as specialized clinics for rarer diseases that require additional treatment considerations.
  • Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program: Led by Mustafa M. Ahmed, MD, this program uses leading-edge devices to assist the heart when waiting for transplantation or as a permanent solution. We are a Joint Commission Disease Specific certified VAD center.
  • Heart transplant: This program combines the expertise of cardiovascular surgeons to perform the surgery and cardiologists to care for transplant recipients and their new hearts long after. Our experts have years of experience and longstanding success using every available tool and strategy to optimize patients’ survival and quality of life while the team finds the safest and most efficient possible path to a successful heart transplant, always exploring other treatment alternatives when indicated.


  • View our heart transplant program's outcomes.


UF Health is contracted with most transplant networks. Check with your employer or insurer for more information about accessing UF Health for transplant services or call our financial representative Sam Cerrato at 352.594.6951 with any questions. View a list of accepted insurance at UF Health.

Make a gift

Help support our heart transplant patients by making a gift.

Sign up to be an organ donor

Today, more than 5,000 patients listed at Florida transplant centers await lifesaving organ transplants. You have the power to Donate Life. Sign up to become an organ donor!

Our locations

Our experts

  • Cardiologist (Heart Specialist), Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Specialist
    Mustafa M Ahmed
  • Mohammad Al-Ani, MD, FACC, FSCMR
    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist), Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Specialist
    Languages: Arabic
    Mohammad A Z Al-Ani
  • Juan M Aranda, MD, FACC
    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist), Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Specialist
    Languages: Spanish
  • Cardiovascular Surgeon, Congenital Heart Specialist - Surgery
    Mark S Bleiweis
  • Anatomic and Clinical Pathologist, Hematology Pathology Specialist
    Steven S Goldstein
  • Asmita Gupte, MD, MS, FIDSA
    Infectious Disease Specialist
    Asmita Gupte
Meet the team

Related conditions and treatments

Clinical Trials: Heart Transplant

UF Health research scientists make medicine better every day. They discover new ways to help people by running clinical trials. When you join a clinical trial, you can get advanced medical care. Sometimes years before it's available everywhere. You can also help make medicine better for everyone else. If you'd like to learn more about clinical trials, visit our clinical trials page. Or click one of the links below:


The primary objective of this study is to collect real-world clinical performance data to assess the clinical outcomes of patients receiving heart transplants using donor hearts transported via the SherpaPak CTS System. These results will be…

Jeffrey P Jacobs
Accepting Candidates
N/A - N/A

Community and Patient Programs: Heart Transplant

Our community and patient programs provide great value to patients, families and loved ones. People can find support, educational materials, expert consultants and more. In most instances, these programs are offered free of charge.

  • Arts in Medicine Integrative Therapies

    Provides supportive care for select adult and pediatric patients through meditation, relaxation, yoga, tai chi, qigong and massage therapy sessions.

  • Camp Boggy Creek

    Children with serious illnesses can enjoy a camp experience in a safe, medically sound environment.

  • Music in the Clinical Setting

    Offers a wide variety of music-based therapies from in-room performances to collaborative recording sessions.

  • Streetlight

    Peer companionship for adolescents and young adults living with serious illness.

  • UF Health Wellness University

    Offers classes, programs, groups, activities, resources and health fairs throughout Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages communities.

News and Patient Stories: Heart Transplant

More Heart Transplant stories