The Mayo Clinic has won approval to open a heart transplant center in the Valley.
The United Network for Organ Sharing has granted Mayo permission to begin a heart-transplant program, although final approval is still needed from its board of directors. The board, which will meet in November, typically approves its membership committee’s recommendations.
In addition to transplanting hearts, the Mayo program will include surgery for advanced heart failure, cardiac-rehabilitation services, and the use of artificial hearts.
Dr. Victor Trastek, a cardiothoracic surgeon who chairs the Mayo Clinic board of governors, told the Arizona Daily Star that Mayo doctors expect to perform about six heart transplants during its first year of operation. After that, they will try to perform 12 transplants by the end of the second year, reaching certification level. Eventually they should do 12 to 20 a year, Trastek said.
The center will be the first one in the Valley and the second one in Arizona. Arizona’s first center opened in 1979 at University Medical Center in Tucson. UMC has achieved one of the highest heart-transplant survival rates in the nation.
The new Mayo program has generated controversy from those who argue that Arizona does not need a second heart transplant center.
According to Mayo officials, Phoenix is the largest city in the country without a center, and 60 percent of heart-transplant patients who have received donated hearts live in the Valley.
For more information:
“Heart Center to open at Mayo Clinic,” Arizona Republic, 09/21/2005
“Mayo heart plan threat to UMC,” Arizona Daily Star, 09/04/2005