UMC Performs 600th Heart Transplant

Pila Martinez
July 13, 2001

University Medical Center has completed its 600th heart transplant, giving a new heart to a 28-year-old Glendale man.

Paul Edwards, who was discharged yesterday, suffered from idiopathic cardiomyopathy, a condition that made his heart become enlarged and stiff. The cause was unknown.

"It was huge," Dr. Francisco Arabia said of the diseased heart, likening its size to a cantaloupe. Of all the hearts he has removed during transplants, this one contracted the least, said Dr. Arabia, who led the transplant team.

The procedure went smoothly, taking about three and a half hours to replace the patient's heart with one from a donor of about the same age, Dr. Arabia said. He added that the donor heart "was half the size of the one he had."

UMC's and Arizona's first heart transplant was performed by Dr. Jack G. Copeland III, chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery and co-director of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center on March 27, 1979. In 1988, UMC performed the world's first coronary artery bypass on a transplanted heart. The following year, UMC performed the state's first heart transplant on a patient with cystic fibrosis.

Reaching number 600 and achieving high success rates "show how consistent the team has been," Dr. Arab




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