Pediatric Heart Transplant Program

Pediatric heart transplant at Mayo Clinic Children's Center

I just love being able to see my patients come back in after their transplant and be able to tell me all the things that they're able to do now that they weren't able to do before. There are many reasons that a patient might need a transplant. Some families have known that their baby has a heart defect, even during the pregnancy. And there's certain types of heart defects that overall, there's a high likelihood throughout the baby's life that they'll need a transplant. We deal with infants and children, even up through young adults. Some of them might need transplant as their primary therapy, meaning right after they're born. Others, we might be able to do some palative surgeries or some corrective surgeries. We at Mayo have a lot of resources that aren't commonly available at other hospitals, so we're a children's hospital within a large adult hospitals. Because we have a strong adult transplant program, we've been able to utilize some of the new technology like OCS, which is basically a system that helps support the donor heart. Once the heart has been identified, this machine supports it during the transport to get it back to where the recipient patient is. For a patient, that means that they're looking at a broader spectrum of donors across the US. In addition, we've had changes to our immunosuppressive medications and regimens that we use after transplant to try and improve outcome with lower rates of rejection and side effects. Many of the children that have congenital heart disease or heart failure have problems with other organ systems. We have such a great multidisciplinary team here, we can facilitate getting them into all of the other providers that they may need to see. One of the hallmarks of Mayo as a whole is the ability to work with in specialties. And that's needed, most of all, for transplant because of the immunology, infectious disease. All these specialties need to be able to work closely together. We have all the resources to help get a family and a patient through. I think Mayo really is a place of hope. One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to call families when we get that donor offer, when we've accepted a heart for one of these kids who's waiting a long time. The hope for all of these kids is that we get them to a better quality of life and back to being a regular kid.

The Mayo Clinic Heart Transplant Program is one of the largest in the nation, performing more than 90 heart transplant procedures annually on babies, children, teens and adults.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has been recognized as one of the top Cardiology & Heart Surgery hospitals in the nation for 2023-2024 by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic Children's Center, you can expect the best care from our multispecialty team of experts on pediatric heart transplant. Your care team will include experts in pediatric or adult cardiovascular specialties or both, including cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, thoracic surgery, transplant, pediatric rehabilitation and others from the Mayo Clinic Children's Center.

Meet the team:

Heart transplant team

Pediatric cardiovascular surgeons

Pediatric cardiologists

Mayo Clinic expertise

Mayo Clinic is the only nationally integrated transplant program with three nationally ranked programs at three geographic locations in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic has been a certified heart transplant center for more than three decades. Since receiving certification in 1988, doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, have performed more than 710 adult and pediatric heart transplants.

Mayo Clinic doctors have special expertise in treating children with congenital heart disease, heart failure and other serious conditions that may require transplant. Their experience in using advanced technology, specialized procedures and an integrated approach focused on the patient makes Mayo Clinic a leader in transplant outcomes.

Pediatric cardiovascular surgery

Mayo Clinic has been at the forefront of pediatric cardiac surgery since the specialty began. In the 1950s, Mayo surgeons performed some of the world's first open-heart surgeries in children using a heart-lung machine developed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. This early success brought children from throughout the United States and other countries to Mayo Clinic. This helped usher in the field of pediatric cardiac surgery — and our commitment to innovation continues today.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.

Nov. 02, 2023