A heart transplant removes a damaged or diseased heart and replaces it with a healthy one. The healthy heart comes from a donor who has died. It is the last resort for people with heart failure when all other treatments have failed. The heart failure might have been caused by coronary heart disease, damaged heart valves or heart muscles, congenital heart defects, or viral infections of the heart.
Although heart transplant surgery is a life-saving measure, it has many risks. Careful monitoring, treatment, and regular medical care can prevent or help manage some of these risks.
After the surgery, most heart transplant patients can return to their normal levels of activity. However, fewer than 30 percent return to work for many different reasons.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Guide to Your Health Care: After Heart Transplantation (International Transplant Nurses Society) - PDF
- Health After Transplantation (American Society of Transplantation) Available in Spanish
- MedlinePlus: Cardiac Rehabilitation (National Library of Medicine) Available in Spanish
- What to Expect After a Heart Transplant (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Implantable Medical Devices (American Heart Association)
- Infection and Malignancy (American Society of Transplantation) Available in Spanish
- Total Artificial Heart (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Ventricular Assist Device (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- What Are the Risks of Heart Transplant? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- About the Operation: Heart Transplant (United Network for Organ Sharing)
- What to Expect Before a Heart Transplant (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- What to Expect during a Heart Transplant (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Who Needs a Heart Transplant? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Heart Transplant Procedure (OR-Live) - Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 09/19/2007
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Heart Transplantation (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Ex-vivo perfusion of donor hearts for human heart transplantation (PROCEED...
- Article: Antibody-mediated rejection in cardiac transplantation: emerging knowledge in diagnosis and...
- Article: Racial disparities in outcomes of adult heart transplantation.
- Heart Transplantation -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Heart Association
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network: Member Directory (Health Resources and Services Administration, United Network for Organ Sharing, Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network)
- Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) Destination Therapy Facilities (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)