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UCLA Transplantation Services


Pediatric Heart Transplant

Pediatric Heart Transplantation at UCLA


Heart Failure

The Pediatric Heart Failure Program at Mattel Children’s Hospital is unique in its dedication to the medical management of heart failure in pediatric patients.  This multidisciplinary approach strives to successfully treat this unique population.  The program is one of a few programs dedicated specifically to Pediatric Heart Failure.  Our involvement with clinical research and protocols allows us to offer the latest in medical innovations.  Under the leadership of Dr. Juan Alejos, this program acts to prepare patients who may eventually require cardiac transplantation and transition them into this process.

Cardiac Transplantation

The Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Program acts as one of the major referral centers for the Western United States.  We performed our first transplant in 1984 and have performed over 300 to date.  The program is a coordinated effort among pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, dentists, nurse practitioners, transplant coordinators, nutritional specialists, social workers, and child developmental specialists.   

The program is directed by Dr. Juan Alejos of Pediatric Cardiology and Dr. Brian Reemtsen of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Medical support is provided by Dr. Greg Perens, Dr. Nancy Halnon, Dr. Leigh Reardon and Melissa Beaver, FNP. Dr. Hillel Laks and Dr. Reshma Biniwale adds their surgical expertise to the team.

This multidisciplinary team has extensive experience in the care of pediatric patients who require heart or heart-lung transplants. Patients from infancy to young adulthood may be evaluated for heart or heart-lung transplantation by team members as either inpatients or outpatients.

The core of this team includes transplant coordinators, Adrianne Belay, RN, BSN and Florentia Conway RN, BSN helping to coordinate and closely follow these patients during the evaluation process and after transplantation.  Diana Saikali, RD provides nutritional support for this high risk population and Lana Wohlschlegel, MSW works to provide and establish emotional support for the patients and their families during this process.

A wide range of patients are evaluated including those with complex congenital heart disease.  Our overall program experience results in patient survivals which exceed national standards.  We also have available ventricular assist devices including the Berlin Heart.  These devices may serve to provide mechanical circulatory support as a bridge to successful cardiac transplantation.

The evaluation is enhanced by the multidisciplinary approach as well as the wealth of knowledge available at UCLA, which is one of the leading centers in the United States in pediatric organ transplantation. In combination with the Pediatric Heart Failure Program, the Pediatric Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Program offers new hope to pediatric patients with failing hearts.

Our Expert Team

Pediatric Heart Transplant Team

Contact Us

Pediatric Heart Transplant Program (310) 267-8279

How to Schedule Your Evaluation Appointment at UCLA  

Make a Difference

Learn more about the Justin Low Memorial Fund

Adult Heart Transplant Links and Downloads

pdf file download Life Goes On

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) provides a toll-free patient services lines to help transplant candidates, recipients, and family members understand organ allocation practices and transplantation data. You may also call this number to discuss problems you may be experiencing with your transplant center or the transplantation system in general. The toll-free patient services line number is 1-888-894-6361

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