1000th Heart Transplant Completed at Ochsner Health System

September 7, 2019

Nearly 50 years after performing the first heart transplant in the Gulf South, Ochsner Health System has successfully completed its 1000th heart transplant. With the completion of the 1000th heart transplant, Ochsner joins the ranks of 13 other prestigious health care systems across the United States to have reached this milestone–Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania, to name a few.

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 50 years after performing the first heart transplant in the Gulf South, Ochsner Health System has successfully completed its 1,000th heart transplant. With the completion of the 1,000th heart transplant, Ochsner joins the ranks of 13 other prestigious health care systems across the United States to have reached this milestone—Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania, to name a few.

“Reaching this milestone is a testament to the legacy of the late Dr. John L. Ochsner, Sr. who pioneered heart valve and coronary bypass surgery. We are so proud of our team’s relentless spirit and dedication to seeking innovative solutions for patients and improving their quality of life — not just today, but for years to come,” said Hector O. Ventura, MD, FACC, FACP, Section Head, Cardiomyopathy & Heart Transplantation, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute (JOHVI).

Led by Aditya Bansal, MD, Ochsner Surgical Director of Heart Transplant, Mechanical Circulatory Support and ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and Hamang Patel, MD, Ochsner Medical Director of Heart Transplant, the case took more than 10 hours to perform. Strong coordination of care before, during and after surgery included some of Ochsner’s most highly skilled professionals in cardiology, heart failure, transplant, surgery, perfusion, operating room, intensive care and nursing from JOHVI and the Ochsner Multi Organ Transplant Institute.

History

The first human heart transplant was performed in 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa. Just three years later, Dr. John Ochsner, Sr. performed the first heart transplant in the Gulf South on January 9, 1970. By the late 1970s, advances in tissue typing along with the discovery of the immunosuppressant drug, cyclosporin, contributed to reduced organ rejection and longer life expectancies for transplant patients. Fast forward to today and heart transplants are now the third most common organ transplantation in the United States, following livers and kidneys.

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