Skip to content

Celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the world's first lung-heart transplant


Today, we take a moment to reflect on an important milestone in modern medicine. On this date thirty years ago, Stanford surgeon Bruce Reitz, MD, and the late Norman Shumway, MD, PhD, performed the world's first successful combined heart-lung transplant.

During the four-hour operation, the heart and lungs of an anonymous donor were implanted into the chest of a Mary Gohlke, a 45-year-old newspaper executive from Mesa, Arizona. This was made possible by the use of the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine, and previous laboratory research performed at Stanford.

In the past three decades, more than 150 patients have received a heart-lung transplant and more than 120 patients have received either a single-lung or double-lung transplant at Stanford.

Photo by Stanford School of Medicine

Popular posts

Sex biology redefined: Genes don’t indicate binary sexes

The scenario many of us learned in school is that two X chromosomes make someone female, and an X and a Y chromosome make someone male. These are simplistic ways of thinking about what is scientifically very complex.