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Pediatric Heart Transplant Program

The Pediatric Heart Transplant Program at UF Health Shands Hospital has more than 25 years of experience providing heart transplantation to infants and children with the most complex heart disease in Florida.

Directed by Congenital Heart Surgeon and Director of the UF Health Congenital Heart Center Mark Bleiweis, MD, and Medical Director and Chief of Pediatric Cardiology F. Jay Fricker, MD, along with pediatric transplant cardiologist Gonzalo Wallis, MD, we have performed more than 200 pediatric heart transplants.

Our one-month, one-year and three-year graft and patient-survival statistics exceed what is expected based on the characteristics of patient risk factors.

Our current areas of concentration include using the Berlin Heart for end-stage heart failure, advanced immunotherapy techniques for patients with elevated panel reactive antibodies and/or antibody-mediated rejection, and transplant of patients with the most severe forms of complex congenital heart disease, including those needing combined heart/lung transplant.

Our multidisciplinary team is led by four pediatric nurse practitioners and a dedicated, licensed-clinical social worker. Our program celebrates many firsts for Florida, including:

  • First pediatric heart transplant
  • First infant heart transplant
  • First pediatric heart/kidney transplant
  • First lung transplant
  • First combined heart/lung transplant
  • First use of the Berlin Heart Ventricular Assist Device.

For more information, to ask questions, or to make a referal to the pediatric heart and/or pediatric lung transplant program, at UF Health Shands Hospital, call (352) 265-0665.


UF Congenital Heart Center Transplant Program Exceeds the National Survival Rates

July 2011 SRTR Report Shands Shands Shands National National National
Pediatric (Age < 18) 1 month 1 year 3 year 1 month 1 year 3 year
Transplants (n) 1 20 20 13 856 856 733 674
Percent (%) of Patients Surviving at End of Period
   Observed at this Center2 100 % 90 % 92% 95 % 89 % 83 % 79.97
   Expected, based on national experience3 94 % 88 % 83 %