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 Darnell, Liliana, Linda, and Natalie

Learn about the lifesaving impact organ donors can make.

Darnell and Langston

Langston is the kind of person who would do anything for others, according to his father, Darnell. So, when Darnell let his family know about his need for a liver transplant, he stepped up to be his dad’s living donor. “I would do anything for my kids, and I knew that my sons would do anything for me. This young man saved my life,” Darnell says.

Read Darnell and Langston’s story.

Liliana and Briana

Liliana was born with a large mass in her abdomen which led to several health conditions — it affected many of her major organs including her kidneys. She needed a kidney transplant by age 2, and her mom, Briana, stepped up to be her living donor. “I was incredibly happy and felt so blessed that I was a match for Liliana since she had so many other things up against her,” Briana says.

Read Liliana and Briana’s story.

Linda Lewis

In February 2020, Linda began to feel exhausted at her job and had difficulty breathing. She was referred to the UPMC Heart Transplant Program, where she was placed on the heart transplant waiting list. On Valentine’s Day 2021, Linda received her new heart and began the road to recovery.

Read Linda's story.

Natalie Wasserman Kingston

Natalie was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) shortly after she was born. When her condition rapidly deteriorated in 2021, she was referred to the UPMC Lung Transplant Program. After receiving a successful lung transplant, Natalie considers her care team at UPMC to be her heroes.

Read Natalie's story.

Read More About Organ Donation on UPMC HealthBeat