If you have a type of heart disease or defect that cannot be treated with less invasive means, a heart transplant may provide a new chance at life. The process for getting a heart transplant is complex, but the CPMC team is here to guide you and your family through every step, from preparation to recovery.
The Center for Advanced Heart Failure therapies at CPMC has a rich history in the field of heart transplantation since its inception in 1984. Our center was the first private hospital in the western United States to perform a heart transplant, and we have since performed more than 450 transplants (and counting).
Transplant is often the preferred treatment for many patients with end-stage heart failure. You may be a candidate if you are no longer responding to conventional treatments, leading to damage in other organs; if you have functional impairment with a poor quality of life; or as an alternative treatment for other heart conditions. Determining which patients would benefit from transplantation involves a careful multidisciplinary approach. For most patients, a heart transplant offers a longer, higher-quality life than they ever thought possible.
An evaluation ensures that heart transplantation is the best treatment option for your condition. The evaluation process consists of tests, procedures and consultations with our multidisciplinary team. Each case is then discussed during a multidisciplinary meeting, where teams make decisions on the best treatment for each patient. Our goal is to provide every person with a treatment option that promotes the greatest long-term success.
Transplant Waiting Period
The wait time for organ transplant depends on many factors. Donor organs are allocated through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Factors that affect your waitlist status include blood type, body size, geography and priority (severity of illness). It’s difficult to predict an average wait time. It can range from weeks to months for high-priority cases to months or years for less severe cases. Doctors perform about 2,500 heart transplants each year in the United States. Every day, nearly 4,000 people are waiting for a heart transplant.