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Faculty Profiles

David Vega

J. David Vega, MD

– Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine
– Director, Heart Transplant Program, Emory University Hospital
– Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Atlanta VA Medical Center

Telephone: 404.778.5289

E-mail: david.vega@emory.edu

Certification: American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 1996

Dr. Vega is the director of of the heart transplant program at Emory University Hospital. He implanted Georgia's first dual pump ventricular assist device (VAD) in 1999 to serve as a bridge to heart transplantation, a procedure that initiated Emory's ongoing national position at the forefront of the use of mechanical circulatory assist devices. In 2006, Dr. Vega was the first physician in Georgia to implant a VAD as a form of destination therapy for individuals who are ineligible for or are unwilling to undergo a heart transplant, and in 2007 implanted an even smaller VAD for the same purpose that featured an automatic speed control mode designed to regulate pumping intensity based on different levels of patient or cardiac activity. The Joint Commission (TJC) awarded Emory's VAD program Disease Specific Care Certification for Destination Therapy for the second time in September 2011 and identified no requirements for improvement. As a result, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will provide reimbursement for the care of destination therapy VAD patients at Emory Hospital. From 2012-2014, Dr. Vega served on the board of directors of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) as the thoracic transplant representative. Board members develop national organ transplant policy.

Dr. Vega's publications in Dr. Vega's publications in PubMed

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