UPMC Physician Resources

Heart and Vascular

UPMC has long been a leader in cardiovascular care, with a rich history in clinical research and innovation. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the country and as the developer of one of the first heart-assist devices, UPMC has contributed to advancing the field of cardiovascular medicine.

Today, our clinicians, surgeons, and physician researchers are exploring and employing new technologies and treatments to find new and better ways to treat our patients.

Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care

The UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute provides comprehensive cardiovascular care via UPMC's broad network of hospitals and community office locations across western Pennsylvania.

  • The Cardiology Division of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the nation's largest, with more than 130 cardiologists and 100 PA/CRNPs who span over 20 hospital sites and 40 office locations. Our high-volume practice encompasses over 23,000 diagnostic and interventional procedures per year, and the experts in our Center for Aortic Valve Disease have performed more than 900 transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures to date. UPMC was also the first center in western Pennsylvania to offer the WATCHMANTM device for stroke prevention in select patients with atrial fibrillation and to use a fully dissolving heart stent, the first of its kind approved by the FDA.

  • The Cardiac Surgery Division provides a multidisciplinary approach to patient care in an environment that fosters the development and evaluation of innovative surgical techniques and therapies. Our staff, which includes more than 20 cardiac surgeons, are committed to clinical excellence as well as scientific inquiry, and represent a broad range of expertise in cardiothoracic surgical procedures.

  • The Vascular Surgery Division of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers comprehensive arterial, endovascular, and venous care by a team of vascular experts. These professionals work together in the study, development, and implementation of new procedures and devices to deliver advanced, comprehensive vascular care. The surgeons of the Vascular Surgery Division specialize in minimally invasive procedures, which many of our faculty helped to pioneer for the treatment of the entire vascular system.

Clinical Research

Each day, UPMC's physicians and scientists collaborate to explore and develop new and exciting treatments and technologies in the field of cardiac medicine and surgery.

Cardiovascular research programs at UPMC are particularly robust in the areas of: 

  • heart failure
  • molecular imaging using echocardiography
  • sudden death
  • translational genetics

Key areas of expansion include our programs in:

  • heart failure/stem cell research
  • non-invasive imaging
  • vascular biology

Most notably, our new Center for Ultrasound Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics features state-of-the-art cardiovascular imaging, enabling UPMC to emerge as a leader in designer microbubble technology for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Featured Programs: Heart Transplant Program

UPMC's 30-year history in adult and pediatric cardiothoracic transplant programs places it among the largest and most experienced in the world. Our experts have performed more than 1,400 adult heart transplants, and historically, our outcomes have been at or near national averages.

As a pioneer in the field of solid-organ transplantation, our program has been consistently challenged with some of the most difficult and complex cases. Our surgeons and specialists have been able to use this high level of complex cases to develop advancements that have resulted in new and improved treatment modalities for patients.

Artificial Heart and Ventricular-assist Device (VAD) Program

UPMC has a long history as a leader in the field of mechanical circulatory support; in 1990, the first patient ever to be discharged from the hospital with a VAD was discharged from UPMC Presbyterian. Since then, the Artificial Heart Program team of surgeons, cardiologists, nurses, and bioengineers has become among the most experienced in the world.

Although artificial hearts are frequently used as bridges to heart transplantation - allowing patients to live in a healthier state until a donor organ becomes available - physicians of the UPMC Artificial Heart Program are pioneering exciting new therapies involving VADs that have led some patients' hearts to heal on their own, eliminating the need for a transplant altogether.

UPMC has treated more than 1,000 patients with mechanical circulatory support devices in the last two decades.