Heart Transplantation

Since cardiomyopathy can be a progressive condition, the heart may deteriorate to the point where medication, mechanical treatments or surgery are no longer effective. When a child no longer responds to other treatments and has persistent symptoms of heart failure or suffers severed disability, a heart transplant may be recommended as a procedure of last resort.

Cardiomyopathy is a leading cause for heart transplants in children. Roughly 20% of infants and children with symptomatic cardiomyopathy require a transplant within the first year of diagnosis. While a heart transplant can eliminate the symptoms of heart failure and improve survival, there are many post-surgery considerations. This includes the possibility of infection, organ rejection, coronary artery disease, and side effects from medications.

The heart transplant process is involved and the different stages include:

  • Evaluation
  • Transplantation
  • Post-transplant recovery

Your child’s heart transplant team will help you get through the entire process. CCF has partnered with the Pediatric Heart Transplant Foundation to develop a helpful resource that explains the entire heart transplant process from assessment and listing to surgery and post transplant care. The guidebook, Pediatric Heart Transplants: A Guide for Patients and Families, draws on the experience and knowledge of the top pediatric heart transplant specialists in the U.S. and Canada. To view the guidebook, please click here.

 

 

 

 

Before the Transplant

 

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