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, and doctors trained in a wide array of specialties work together as a team 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 Transplant Center staff at campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota work together to evaluate and treat people who may need heart transplants. 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 staff coordinates care between the three sites as required.

You might be evaluated for a heart transplant at one Mayo Clinic location, but then 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 throughout the transplant process.

Your doctors and transplant team will work with you and discuss your requirements, desires and lifestyle to determine the most appropriate treatment for you, which might be a heart transplant or other therapies more appropriate to your specific situation.

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. Researchers also study alternative therapies for people who might be able to use an alternative to a heart transplant.

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

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. Pedaling His Way to a Successful Heart Transplant

      Told he needed a heart transplant to stay alive, Greg Williams could have simply sat back and waited. Instead, he chose to take ownership of his health by exercising in his hospital room at Mayo Clinic right up until the day of his transplant in hopes of preparing his body and mind as best he [...]

    2. Heart Transplant Helps Elise Campbell Reach New Heights

      A lifesaving heart transplant at Mayo Clinic helped Elise Campbell break free from the physical limitations of a rare genetic heart condition she had lived with since she was 14. Now Elise is relishing the opportunity to enjoy experiences she never thought possible. Elise Campbell was 14 when doctors in her home state of Iowa [...]

    3. 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 [...]

    4. 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, [...]

    5. 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 [...]

    6. 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 [...]

    7. Life Beyond A Heart Transplant is Vibrant and Full for Elmo Aquino

      Fifteen years ago, Elmo Aquino, a resident of Orange Park, Florida, was an avid runner. He'd competed in Jacksonville's Gate River Run, an annual 15-kilometer running event, several times. But one morning in the summer of 2001, his active lifestyle came to an abrupt end when suddenly, while on a treadmill, he found he couldn't [...]

    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., and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., 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.

    More information about billing and insurance:

    Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

    Mayo Clinic Health System

    Clinical trials

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

    Nov. 16, 2019
    1. Heart transplant. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-transplant. Accessed Sept. 4, 2019.
    2. Mancini D. Indications and contraindications for cardiac transplantation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 4, 2019.
    3. Heart transplant. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/congenital-heart-defects/care-and-treatment-for-congenital-heart-defects/heart-transplant. Accessed Sept. 4, 2019.
    4. Getting a new heart: Information for patients about heart transplant. American Society of Transplantation. https://power2save.org/organ-specific/. Accessed Sept. 10, 2019.
    5. Kittleson MM, et al. Cardiac transplantation: Current outcomes and contemporary controversies. Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart failure. 2017;5:857.
    6. McCartney SL, et al. Long-term outcomes and management of the heart transplant recipient. Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology. 2017;31:237.
    7. Vega E, et al. Postoperative management of heart transplant patients. Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology. 2017;31:201.
    8. Pham MX. Prognosis after cardiac transplantation in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 4, 2019.
    9. Pina IL. Rehabilitation after cardiac transplantation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 12, 2019.
    10. Matching donors and recipients. Health Resources & Services Administration. https://www.organdonor.gov/about/process/matching.html. Accessed Sept. 12, 2019.
    11. Guida B, et al. Role of dietary intervention and nutritional follow-up in heart transplant recipients. Clinical Transplantation. 2009;23:101.
    12. Salyer J, et al. Community-based weight management in long-term heart transplant recipients: a pilot study. Progress in Transplantation. 2007;17:315.
    13. Yardley M, et al. Importance of physical capacity and the effects of exercise in heart transplant recipients. World Journal of Transplantation. 2018;8:1.

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