The Transplant Center at University of Colorado Hospital

Transplant referrals

The Transplant Center at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) on the Anschutz Medical Campus has been a leader in the field of transplantation since our team performed the first-ever liver transplant in 1963. Our program has grown into the largest and most comprehensive transplant center in Colorado – the only one performing heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants – as well as much of the Rocky Mountain region and in several surrounding states.

As the leading academic medical center, not only do we provide superior patient care, but we also offer the benefit of access to clinical trials and the latest research protocols. Our expert team works tirelessly; providing quality, compassionate care that truly transforms lives.

Why choose UCHealth for your transplant?

Living organ donation

Living donation is a transplant surgery performed between two living adults. Typically, a blood relative, spouse, or close family friend donates to the patient in need.

Living donation is made possible when an individual donates a kidney or part of his/her liver. Living kidney donors can live a normal, healthy life with only one kidney. The same can be said for living liver donors — the liver of a living liver donor will regenerate and grow to the necessary size to function as needed.

There are many factors to consider when choosing a hospital for life-giving transplant surgery. One of the most important is the philosophy of care. At UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, you – the patient – are always our primary focus.

You should consider the volume of transplant surgeries performed, number of patients on the organ waitlist, plus the experience and expertise of the surgical team – all factors that set a transplant program apart.

All of the surgeons who perform transplants at UCH are dedicated transplant specialists. Since 1988, our transplant specialists have performed almost 6,000 transplants. This means our surgeons have vast experience in this very specialized surgery. Our transplant physicians are also leading the way in clinical trials for anti-rejection, disease management and treatments, so they often have a hand in creating the latest medical information and techniques.

  • UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital is continually ranked as the #1 hospital in Colorado by U.S. News & World Report.
  • UCH has been ranked in the top ten of all U.S. academic medical centers by the University Health Consortium 5 times out of the last 6 years (including #1 ranking in 2011 and 2012; and most recently ranked #6 in 2015).
  • UCHealth’s Transplant program is the only center in Colorado performing all solid organ transplants (kidney, pancreas, liver, lung and heart).
  • Rocky Mountain region leader in living donation for both kidney and liver.
  • Our transplant program follows post-transplant patients in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and other foreign countries.

Questions to ask when choosing a transplant program

How long do I have to spend on a waiting list?

The shortage of donated organs is dire nationwide, but a great program helps get patients on—and off—the waiting list as quickly as possible.

At UCH, 80 percent of the “most urgent” patients on our liver waiting list had received a transplant by six months after listing, compared with 59 percent nationally.

Of the patients waiting for a kidney/pancreas transplant, half received a transplant within 9.7 months of being placed on the list. The national average was 13.7 months.(1)

Is my surgeon a transplant specialist or a general surgeon who also does transplants?

All of the surgeons who perform transplants at UCH are dedicated transplant specialists. Since 1988, our transplant specialists have performed thousands of transplants.

This means that our surgeons have vast experience in this very specialized surgery. They are always apprised of—and often have a hand in creating—the latest medical information and techniques.

Will my surgeon communicate with my regular doctor about my care?

Our transplant team knows that communication with your regular provider is crucial for your long-term outcome.

In addition to communicating with your primary physician, we provide access to a special Web connection to allow your doctor to check the status of your tests and transplant process.

Will the transplant team follow up with me during the coming years?

Absolutely. The transplant process is one that lasts a lifetime. We’ll get to know each other very well. You may even start to see us as part of the family! This is one of the many reasons to choose a transplant program you feel comfortable with.

During your wait and preparation for a transplant, we’ll monitor you regularly and help you stay as healthy as possible until an organ becomes available.

After your transplant, we’ll continue to monitor you to ensure that you and your new organ are getting along well. We even provide our patients with access to a Web connection to allow you to check the status of your tests, the transplant process, and other information you’ll find useful.

Why is it important to go to an academic medical center?

An academic medical center like the one at University of Colorado Hospital teaches future generations of healthcare professionals and conducts research to develop groundbreaking treatments and technologies.

At UCH, our doctors and nurses teach the next generation of medical caregivers. Patients receive attention not only from their certified medical team but also from those in training, many of whom are already accomplished clinicians and researchers.

Our experts bring research to life in providing new treatments unavailable at other hospitals. We’ve been first to offer many transplant surgeries and techniques, including the first liver transplant in the world.

Learn more about your transplant journey with the UCH Transplant Center

Our history

Some of our notable achievements are:

  • First-ever liver transplant in the world (1963)
  • First successful double lung transplant on a cystic fibrosis patient in Colorado
  • Colorado’s first solitary pancreas transplant to eliminate diabetes in a patient
  • First in utero stem cell transplant to save a fetus with a rare blood disorder
  • Opened one of the first liver cell banks in the country to further research into new liver transplant procedures
  • First living-related liver transplant in Colorado
  • First living-related liver transplant on an adult with fulminant liver failure
  • Region’s first liver transplant from a non-related donor
  • One of the first in the nation to perform living-donor transplant surgery
  • Colorado’s first double-lung and liver transplant

Our location

UCHealth Transplant Center – Anschutz Medical Campus
1635 Aurora Court, 7th floor
Aurora, CO 80045

Tests and procedures

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