April 03, 2020
San Antonio, TX - The Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Program at Methodist Hospital reached a milestone in cardiac transplantation when cardiac surgeons performed the 500th heart transplant. Heart transplant surgeons, Masahiro Ono and Sean McCarney performed the procedure on a patient suffering from cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens the heart making it difficult for the organ to pump blood. Due to inefficient organ function, the patient also suffered from worsening kidney function secondary to the inadequate blood flow from the heart. This disease is often a major cause of heart failure and a common condition leading to heart transplantation.
Methodist Hospital is the first and only heart transplant program in South Texas to reach this clinical milestone. This achievement affirms the strength in the hospital’s commitment to providing quality care and ensuring patients remain at the forefront of the hospital’s mission. Methodist Hospital performed one of the first heart transplants in the nation in 1986 and has since lead the South Texas region in highest volume in cardiac transplantation.
“Although 500 is just a number, getting to 500 is not. Our program has been in existence since the 1980s, the very beginning of the modern era of cardiac transplantation, and has undergone steady growth and expansion since that time,” commented Michael Kwan, MD, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Program Director. “Reaching this milestone with the outcomes and the quality we have is a testament not only to the physicians, nurses and healthcare providers who have built the foundations of this incredibly successful program, but also to the vision and passion of those who continue to build and expand the horizons of what was previously not thought possible.”
Methodist Hospital’s expert heart failure care expands beyond just cardiac transplantation; they are also a regional leader in the placement of ventricular assist devices (VADs), mechanical heart pumps used for treating patients with end-stage heart failure. To date, the Advanced Heart Failure program averages 25 heart transplants and 20 VADs annually.
“The patients who have honored us with their trust are the reason we are here,” commented Chandra Kunavarapu, MD, Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Medical Director. “When we celebrate 500 transplants, we celebrate much more. We celebrate and honor the hundreds of doctors, nurses and staff that help in making that possible. We support and cherish all the thousands of family members who encourage and help our patients in their daily lives. We most of all honor our patients, their courage, endurance and determination that it takes to undertake this journey.”