A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. Heart transplant is a treatment that's usually reserved for people who have tried medications or other surgeries, but their conditions haven't sufficiently improved.
While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good, with appropriate follow-up care.
When faced with a decision about having a heart transplant, know what to expect of the heart transplant process, the surgery itself, potential risks and follow-up care.
Mayo Clinic's approach
Sept. 19, 2017
- What is a heart transplant? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ht. Accessed April 8, 2016.
- Mancini D. Indications and contraindications for cardiac transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 8, 2016.
- Colvin M, et al. OPTN/SRTR annual data report 2014: Heart. American Journal of Transplantation. 2016;16:115.
- 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.
- 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.
- Flynn B, et al. Heart and lung transplantation. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology. 2014;27:153.
- Goldman L, et al., eds. Cardiac transplantation. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 7, 2016.
- Pham MX. Prognosis after cardiac transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 12, 2016.
- Pham MX. Induction and maintenance of immunosuppressive therapy in cardiac transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 12, 2016.
- Pina IL. Rehabilitation after cardiac transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 12, 2016.
- McKenna WJ. Treatment of amyloid cardiomyopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 1, 2016.
- What are the risks of heart surgery? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hs/risks. Accessed April 12, 2016.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Heart transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- Partnering with your transplant team: The patient's guide to transplantation. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/learn/patient-education/. Accessed April 12, 2016.
- What every patient needs to know. United Network for Organ Sharing. http://www.transplantliving.org/community/patient-resources/publications/. Accessed April 13, 2016.
- 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.
- Eisen HJ. Prevention and treatment of cardiac allograft vasculopathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 13, 2016.
- Topilsky Y, et al. Sirolimus as primary immunosuppression attenuates allograft vasculopathy with improved late survival and decreased cardiac events after cardiac transplantation. Circulation. 2012;125:708.
- Transplant gives recipient chance to re-establish priorities. Mayovox. August 1988;39:1.
- Heart transplant program to resume in fall of 1986. Mayovox. January 1986;37:1.
- Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 8, 2016.
- Matsuo Y, et al. Attenuation of cardiac allograft vasculopathy by sirolimus: Relationship to time interval after heart transplantation. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2013;32:784.
- Gertz MA, et al. Pathophysiology and treatment of cardiac amyloidosis. Nature Reviews Cardiology. 2015;12:91.
- Williams BA, et al. Heart failure and heart rhythm disorders. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Geriatrics. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed April 21, 2016.
- Guddetti RR, et al. Clinical implications of intracoronary imaging in cardiac allograft vasculopathy. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. 2015;8:e002636.
- Yancy CW, et al. 2013 ACCF/AHA guideline for the management of heart failure: A report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013;62: e147.
- Yip DS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. May 24, 2016.
- Medical practice report: Heart transplant. Press Ganey. http://www.pressganey.com/. Accessed May 24, 2016.
- Lund LH, et al. The Registry of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation: Thirty-second official adult heart transplantation report — 2015; focus theme: Early graft failure. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. 2015;34:1244.
News, connections and conversations for your health
- Procedure details
- More about