Mayo Clinic's approach

A team of doctors and staff in a discussion. Mayo Clinic heart transplant team

A team of doctors and other staff work together and discuss care for people who may need a heart transplant.

Multidisciplinary team approach

At Mayo Clinic, doctors trained in heart disease (cardiologists), heart and lung surgery (cardiac and thoracic surgeons), infectious disease management, mental health conditions (psychiatrists), and other specialties collaborate as a multidisciplinary team to provide you with coordinated, comprehensive care. Doctors work together with health care professionals in many areas to evaluate you, perform your heart transplant and coordinate follow-up care.

Image of health care professionals in many medical specialties. Care team roles

Health care professionals trained in many medical specialties work together as a team to ensure favorable outcomes from your heart transplant.

Pediatric cardiologists, pediatric heart surgeons and other specialists work together to evaluate and treat children who may need heart transplants at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota. At Mayo Clinic's campus in Arizona, cardiologists partner with Phoenix Children's Hospital to treat teenagers and young adults with congenital heart disease.

Multiorgan transplant experience

Mayo Clinic doctors and surgeons have experience evaluating and treating people with complex conditions who may need multiorgan transplants. Surgeons have experience performing multiorgan transplant procedures, such as heart-kidney, heart-liver and heart-lung transplants. A team of doctors trained in a wide array of specialties works together in Mayo Clinic's Transplant Center to treat people who may need multiorgan transplants.

Amyloidosis expertise

Mayo doctors have extensive experience and expertise evaluating and treating people with amyloidosis.

Amyloidosis is a rare disease that occurs when a substance called amyloid builds up in organs in your body. Amyloidosis can affect the function of many organs in your body.

If amyloidosis has seriously affected your heart, you may be eligible for a heart transplant or a heart-liver transplant. Your Mayo doctors and treatment team will evaluate your condition and determine if a heart transplant or other treatment may be most appropriate for your condition. Doctors at Mayo Clinic have experience treating amyloidosis with many treatments, including heart transplant for people who are eligible.

Individualized approach

Mayo Clinic doctors take the time to get to know you and work with you to provide exactly the care you need. Your doctors and transplant team will work with you and discuss your individual needs, desires and lifestyle to determine the most appropriate treatment for you.

Depending on your individual condition and needs, your doctors and transplant team may recommend a heart transplant or other therapies, such as a ventricular assist device.

Two doctors having a discussion. Mayo Clinic doctors collaborate to provide care

Mayo doctors collaborate as a team to care for people who may need a heart transplant.

Common recommendations and treatment at all Mayo Clinic locations

Mayo Clinic's Transplant Center staff at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota works together to evaluate and treat people who may need a heart transplant. Mayo Clinic offers common recommendations, evaluation processes, treatment, post-surgical care and follow-up care for heart transplant candidates at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Mayo Clinic uses technology to help make patient information available as needed at all three locations.

Mayo Clinic staff coordinates care as needed between the three sites. You may be evaluated for a heart transplant at one Mayo Clinic location, but you may have a heart transplant at another location if it's in your best interest. If you have your evaluation and transplant surgery at different locations, Mayo staff from both locations collaborates as a team to provide you with comprehensive care through the transplant process.

Research and innovation

Mayo Clinic researchers in the Transplant Center conduct ongoing studies and clinical trials in improving surgical procedures, improving outcomes and caring for people who need transplants. Research also studies alternative therapies for people who may not need a transplant.

Mayo researchers also study medications and treatments for people who have had heart transplants, including new medications (immunosuppressant medications) to keep your body from rejecting your heart transplant.

For example, Mayo doctors have studied using sirolimus (Rapamune) as an immunosuppressant for people who have had heart transplants. Mayo Clinic doctors may recommend that some people use sirolimus instead of calcineurin inhibitors. Some people may need to continue using calcineurin inhibitors with sirolimus, but the dose of the calcineurin inhibitors may be lowered.

Sirolimus may help slow the progress of kidney problems or improve kidney function. It may also prevent or slow the progress of a disease that can occur after a heart transplant called cardiac allograft vasculopathy. In this disease, the walls of the arteries in your heart (coronary arteries) thicken and harden, which can cause limited blood flow through your heart.

Mayo Clinic doctors also use innovative imaging tests to detect signs of complications in your coronary arteries, such as cardiac allograft vasculopathy, after your heart transplant.

For example, Mayo doctors may use optical coherence tomography (OCT) — an imaging test that uses light waves to provide cross-sectional images of the arteries — to monitor for signs of narrowing and blockages in the coronary arteries. At Mayo Clinic, OCT may sometimes be used in combination with coronary angiography to detect coronary artery disease.

A doctor stands by a person and conducts an imaging test Using imaging tests to detect coronary artery disease

Mayo doctors may use imaging tests, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), to monitor for signs of narrowing and blockages in the coronary arteries.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

  1. Defying Odds to Make it Through to a Heart-Lung Transplant

    Aryn Clark needed a heart-lung transplant, but the wait was almost sure to be a long one. Advanced technology that did the work of her heart and lungs during that wait kept her healthy enough to be ready once transplant organs became available. Aryn Clark was born with two holes in her heart, a condition [...]

  2. Chronicling a Transplant Through the Eyes of a Caregiver

    Throughout Bob Washnock's journey to a heart transplant, his wife, Pam, was dedicated to being his caregiver. Pam then turned that experience into a book about caregiving in hopes of encouraging and supporting others who find themselves in that role. In the early morning hours of Feb. 20, 2013, Bob Washnock announced to his wife, [...]

  3. New Heart, New Hope and a Real Chance at a Future

    After years of struggling with cardiomyopathy, a heart transplant at Mayo Clinic renewed Thomas Kim's health and rekindled his confidence in the future. Thomas Kim had all but forgotten what it was like to make long-term plans. With his wife, Yona, by his side, the 48-year-old spent years focused on trying to figure out what [...]

  4. Rough Beginnings, Now Running: 12-year-old's Dream Comes True

    After a heart transplant and two months of cardiovascular rehabilitation, Mischa Melby has finally joined her classmates out on the playground. Like most 12-year-olds, Mischa Melby loves to run. She runs up the stairs. She runs in gym class. She does have to walk in the hallways at school. But if given the option, she [...]

  5. Comprehensive Care Offers Virginia Man a Path to Transplant

    When congestive heart failure led to the need for a heart transplant, Vincent Arnold turned to Mayo Clinic. The care he received took all his medical concerns into account, providing him a way to return to better health. It's been almost four years since Vincent Arnold began feeling winded and feeling like his heart was [...]

  6. A Sudden Detour for Heart Transplant, Then Back in Stride

    When Yasmin Mullings found out she needed a heart transplant, she wasn't sure she could go through with it. But with support and encouragement from her Mayo Clinic care team, Yasmin successfully navigated the transplant. Today, with a healthy heart, she's back to her active life. In 2015, Yasmin Mullings was relishing a fast-paced life. [...]

  7. Young Mom?s Long Wait Ends With Gift of a New Heart

    Sarah Bradley's heart failed when she was only 27 years old. Today, after more than two years living with the assistance of a device that kept her blood flowing and her health stable, she?s the grateful recipient of a new heart. For more than two years, Sarah Bradley lived with a broken heart. The muscle [...]

  8. Heart Transplant Puts an Active Athlete Back in Action

    Kraig Gresham was 47 years old when he received his heart transplant, but his journey to that life-changing surgery began years earlier. Kraig was born with aortic stenosis ? a birth defect that causes heart valves to narrow and obstruct blood flow. As a child he had heart problems as a result of his condition. [...]

  9. Teen Receives Thorough, Compassionate Care Before, During and After a Heart Transplant at Mayo Clinic

    When most people think of their happy place, they envision something like a warm, sunny beach or a cozy mountain cabin. But when Lisa Fairbairn thinks about a place that gives her comfort, Mayo Clinic?s Rochester campus comes to mind. She?s happiest there because it?s where her son Chase was given a second chance. Not [...]

  10. Coordination and Teamwork Make Simultaneous Surgeries Seamless for Heart Transplant Recipients

    Michael Tyler and William Tiger didn't know one another before the summer of 2016. But they now share a unique life event. Both 55-year-olds underwent heart transplant surgery at Mayo Clinic's Arizona campus on the same day, at the same time. Completing the simultaneous procedures was a milestone for the Transplant Center team in Arizona, [...]

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Expertise and rankings

A team of doctors and staff in a discussion. Mayo Clinic heart transplant team

Doctors work together with doctors and staff in many specialties to provide heart transplant care.

Cardiovascular disease experience

Mayo Clinic cardiologists and cardiac and thoracic surgeons have extensive experience diagnosing and treating people with heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. Doctors and surgeons care for more than 200,000 people who have cardiovascular disease each year.

Mayo Clinic's campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota each offer a Heart Failure Clinic staffed by a team of cardiologists and other specialists trained in evaluating and treating heart failure.

Surgical expertise

Mayo Clinic heart transplant surgeons have performed hundreds of procedures using state-of-the-art technology since the heart transplant program began in 1988.

Heart transplant outcomes compare favorably with the national average. Learn more about Mayo Clinic's heart transplant volumes and outcomes.

Two surgeons in a discussion in an operating room. Mayo Clinic heart surgeons

Mayo Clinic heart surgeons work together to provide care for people who need heart transplants.

Heart transplant patient experience

Independent patient experience surveys indicate that a high number of Mayo Clinic patients who are being cared for by the heart transplant team are very satisfied with their care and would recommend the practice to others.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, Minn., is ranked among the Best Children's Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.

With Mayo Clinic's emphasis on collaborative care, specialists at each of the campuses — Minnesota, Arizona and Florida — interact very closely with colleagues at the other campuses and the Mayo Clinic Health System.

Volumes and outcomes

 

Mayo Clinic doctors' experience and integrated team approach result in transplant outcomes that compare favorably with national averages. Teams work with transplant recipients before, during and after surgery to ensure the greatest likelihood of superior results.

Volumes and statistics are maintained separately for the three Mayo Clinic locations. Taken together or separately, transplant recipients at Mayo Clinic enjoy excellent results.

Learn more about Mayo Clinic's heart transplant volumes and outcomes.

Locations, travel and lodging

The Village at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, offers low-cost housing for transplant patients and their caregivers.

The Gabriel House of Care in Jacksonville, Florida, offers low-cost housing for transplant patients and their caregivers.

The Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, Minnesota, offers low-cost housing for transplant patients and their caregivers.

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic has dedicated transplant financial services representatives and social workers who can assist you with insurance and financial questions regarding your heart transplant.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. Many insurance companies require you to get preapproval authorization prior to transplant services.

Read more about heart transplant costs and insurance at Mayo Clinic.

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

March 23, 2018
References
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  3. Colvin M, et al. OPTN/SRTR annual data report 2014: Heart. American Journal of Transplantation. 2016;16:115.
  4. What is a ventricular assist device? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vad. Accessed April 7, 2016.
  5. What is a total artificial heart? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/tah. Accessed April 12, 2016.
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  15. What every patient needs to know. United Network for Organ Sharing. http://www.transplantliving.org/community/patient-resources/publications/. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  16. Diet and exercise. United Network for Organ Sharing: Transplant living. http://www.transplantliving.org/after-the-transplant/staying-healthy/diet-and-exercise/. Accessed April 13, 2016.
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  23. Gertz MA, et al. Pathophysiology and treatment of cardiac amyloidosis. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2015;12:91.
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