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Heart Transplant

What is Heart Transplant?

Heart transplant is the surgical replacement of a diseased heart with a healthier heart from a deceased organ donor. 

Why is a heart transplant recommended?

Transplantation is recommended when medical treatments for heart failure no longer help. The right time to proceed with heart transplantation is when it is felt that you will live longer and better with a transplant than with your heart disease. Heart transplantation is a serious and complicated process, the risks of surgery and recovery may eventually outweigh the harmful effects of your heart disease. The goal is to provide improvement to the quality and length of your life.

Why might I need a heart transplant?

End stage heart failure is a disease where the heart is no longer able to pump enough blood to meet the demands of the body. The heart is damaged or very weak or both.

Some causes of heart failure include:
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI)
  • Viral infection of the heart muscle
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart conditions present at birth (congenital)
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • High blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension)
  • Alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Heart muscle is enlarged, thick, and stiff (cardiomyopathy)

Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a heart transplant.


What do I do if I want more information about heart transplant or I want to meet with a doctor to talk about heart transplant?

Call the Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant program at 616.391.2802 and ask to speak to Amy Galle, BSN.