Depend on Spectrum Health for compassionate, patient- and family-centered care after your heart transplant.
Start your heart transplant surgery recovery in the cardiothoracic critical care unit at Spectrum Health Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center. There, you’ll receive care from a team dedicated to helping people recover from surgery. As you recover and get stronger, you'll move to a post-transplant care unit.
Most heart transplant patients stay in the hospital for three to four weeks.
After you leave the hospital, you’ll still be recovering. Your transplant team will tell you about certain restrictions to follow until you are fully healed. Follow your care plan, including taking your medications, to get the greatest benefit after surgery.
If you live more than two hours away from our transplant center, plan to stay in Grand Rapids for up to three months after your transplant.
You will need a caregiver—a family member or friend—with you through the transplant journey and for several weeks after coming home from the hospital. Your caregiver:
Protect your new heart by taking antirejection medicines prescribed by your doctor. These medicines help stop your immune system from attacking your new heart. You’ll need to take these medicines for the rest of your life. You’ll also have regular tests to look for signs of rejection.
The medicines that prevent rejection also make it easier for you to get an infection. Your body will not be able to fight bacteria and viruses as well as it did before your transplant. If you get an infection, it may be more severe and last longer. Protect yourself by:
Maintain your health through long-term follow-up care and monitoring with your transplant team at Spectrum Health. You’ll have frequent appointments, lab tests and studies to ensure you do not have signs of rejection.
If you live outside of Grand Rapids, ask about options for post-transplant care in your community or through virtual care.
Feel certain you’re getting the best care with a second opinion at Spectrum Health.