We have 40 years of transplant experience behind us. So that you can have your whole life ahead of you.
We have 40 years of transplant experience behind us. So that you can have your whole life ahead of you.

Celebrating Transplant Excellence

Established in 1981, UPMC Transplant Services has performed more than 20,000 organ transplants. That includes liver, kidney, pancreas, small bowel, heart, lung, double-lung, single-lung, and multiple-organ transplants. As a pioneer in solid-organ transplantation, our program has been challenged with some of the most difficult and complex cases.

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Experience Matters

At UPMC, we provide patients with education and step-by-step support throughout their transplant journey. Our program is comprised of experienced transplant surgeons, hepatologists, nephrologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists. We also have a support team that includes transplant coordinators, social workers, financial/insurance coordinators, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and dietitians.

Transplant Milestones

  • 1964: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh performed its first pediatric kidney transplant.
  • 1981: Thomas E. Starzl, MD, joined UPMC and led the team that performed Pittsburgh's first liver transplant.
  • 1984: World’s first heart-liver transplant at Children’s.
  • 1989: World’s first heart-liver-kidney transplant performed at UPMC.
  • 1996: Children’s created the nation’s first pediatric intestinal care center.
  • 1997: Children’s performed the first living-donor liver transplant.
  • 2008: UPMC performed its 500th intestinal transplant.
  • 2010: Children’s performed the world’s first pediatric ventricular assist device transported by air for a child in heart failure.
  • 2011: UPMC completed 3,000th cardiothoracic transplant.
  • 2011: Children’s performed its first hepatocyte transplant.
  • 2013: UPMC surgeons performed the nation’s first female double-hand transplant.
  • 2019: UPMC was the only center in the country to perform more living-donor than deceased-donor liver transplants.
  • 2021: UPMC performed 76 adult and pediatric living-donor liver transplants (72 adult, 4 pediatric).

Care Close to Home

Today, UPMC is one of the oldest and largest transplant programs in the country. We are committed to improving access to transplant. That is why we have expanded our program to offer lifesaving transplant care in Pittsburgh, Erie, and central Pennsylvania, as well as transplant evaluations in north central Pennsylvania.

UPMC and Donate Life America

In 2016, UPMC and Donate Life America partnered with goals to reduce the number of people on the pediatric and adult liver and kidney waiting lists, reduce waiting-list deaths, and improve access to transplants nationally. Follow the UPMC and Donate Life America Living Donor Transplant Facebook page to become part of our transplant community!

Meet George, Christine, and Elex

Learn about the lifesaving impact organ donors can make.

George and Christine McClure

After discovering George would need a kidney transplant to survive, his wife, Christine, decided to become his living donor. However, because she wasn't compatible, Christine became part of a living-donor exchange. She donated her kidney to another person who also had an incompatible donor. That allowed not only her husband to receive a transplant, but five others.

Read George and Christine's story.

Elex Jordan

After having heart complications since 2006, Elex began exploring the option of having a heart transplant at UPMC. Eight years later, he received his lifesaving transplant.

Read Elex's story.

Read More About Organ Donation on UPMC HealthBeat