Heather LaGuardia, MD
Medical Director, Living Donor Program
I am a transplant nephrologist at Memorial Healthcare System. I care for patients with kidney injuries or kidney failure who are exploring their options beyond dialysis. If a patient chooses to pursue a kidney transplant, I care for them throughout the transplant process.
I believe working in the transplant field is one of the most rewarding jobs in medicine.
When someone receives a kidney transplant, they often feel as if they are getting their life back. Living with kidney disease can be challenging. Travel becomes difficult, many people find that their energy is not what it used to be, and some stop going out and enjoying things that they used to.
After a transplant, it’s like watching my patients come alive again. I have patients who go off to travel the world and resume their hobbies of sailing and running marathons. Young people go back to work and young women look to start families.
When patients come to my office, my job is to explain kidney replacement options and help them make a decision based on their unique situation. The process can be daunting and I do everything I can to answer all of their questions, explore each and every option, and educate them and their families about the transplantation process.
I also walk each person through an extensive evaluation process to ensure a safe and successful transition into the world of transplantation.
After a patient undergoes a transplant surgery, I work with the care team to create a care plan and management strategy. This includes addressing immunosuppression medications, blood pressure monitoring and diabetic control to keep the patient’s new kidney going strong for as long as possible.
Related Medical Services
- University Of Arkansas School Of Medicine, 2007, Internal Medicine
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2008, Internal Medicine
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2010, Internal Medicine
- Tulane University Of Louisiana, 2012, Nephrology
- Tulane University Of Louisiana, 2013, Transplant Nephrology
American Board of Internal Medicine-Nephrology
- The Elizabeth S. Watts Award For Outstanding Achievement in Physical Anthropology
- American College of Physicians
- American Medical Association
- American Society of Nephrology
- American Society of Transplantation
- National Kidney Foundation
- 2000-01: Tulane University Virology Lab New Orleans LA
Undergraduate Research assistant, Laura Levy PHD. Professor Tulane University Studied FeLV LTR variation in the cohort from which FeLV-945 was identified. The Objective of the study was to evaluate FeLV LTR variation within the cohort to determine whether FELV-945 LTR was associated with multicentric lymphoma and to evaluate functional attributes that may have contributed selective advantage to the predominant LTR variants observed.
- 2011-2013 Tulane Hospital and Clinic New Orleans LA Retrospective data analysis on the transplant patient population between
1994-09: Using data from adult patient who received pediatric single donation kidneys to determine if renin angiotensin system blockade had known benefit to protect from intraglomerular hypertension and hyperfiltration injury
- LaGuardia, Heather A (2007, September) “Diagnostic Dilemma: Autonomic Neuropathy in Diabetes” Oral Presentation presented at Endocrinology Fellow Conference; Little Rock AR.
- LaGuardia, Heather A, Abul-Ezz, Sameh R. (2008 April) “Renal Function¬¬ and the Risk of Hip and Vertebral Fracture in older Women: A Literary Review” Oral Presentation at : Internal Medicine Resident’s Journal Club; Little Rock AR.
- LaGuardia Heather A (2007, October) “Utilization of Focused Abdominal Ultrasound in the ED: Resident’s lecture” Oral Presentation at VA Emergency Department Conference, Little Rock AR.
- LaGuardia Heather A (2011) “Kidney Stones” Oral Presentation at Tulane University Fellow’s Grand Rounds; New Orleans LA.
- LaGuardia Heather A (2012) “Sickle Cell Glomerulopathy” Oral Presentation at Tulane University Fellow’s Grand Rounds; New Orleans LA.
- LaGuardia Heather (2012) “ACEi/ARB therapy improves the long-term survival of single pediatric donor kidneys in adult recipients” Oral presentation at THRCE Seminar: New Orleans LA.
- LaGuardia Heather (2013) “ACEi/ARB therapy improves the long-term survival of single pediatric donor kidneys in adult recipients” Oral presentation at Southern Society for clinical Investigation: New Orleans LA 2/20/2013 and 2/23/2013.
- LaGuardia Heather (2013) “Early inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system improves the long-term graft survival of single pediatric donor kidneys transplanted in adult recipients” Oral presentation American Transplant Congress May 21: Seattle, Washington
- LaGuardia Heather (2017) “Is my Patient a Candidate? Case series discussion of potential referrals” Oral presentation for 1st Annual UPMC Hamot Kidney transplant Symposium November: Erie PA
- LaGuardia Heather (2018) “Is my Patient a Candidate? Case series discussion of potential referrals” Oral presentation for 2st Annual UPMC Hamot Kidney transplant Symposium November: Erie PA
- 2014:Heather LaGuardia, Enver Khan, Damodar Kumbala, Yongjun Liu and Rubin Zhang. The long-term outcome of ketoconazole and tacrolimus co- administration in kidney transplant patients. NKF meeting Las Vegas NV
- 2010: LaGuardia H, Khan M.E. and Rubin Zhang. Long-term outcome of highly sensitized African American Patients with cadaveric Kidney Transplant. Tulane Research days
- 2008: LaGuardia H, Banerjee S, Gokden N, Kumar J. Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis secondary to Tick Borne Illness. ACP poster Presentation