Vanderbilt's first heart transplant was in April 1985; today we perform more than 50 transplants each year for adults and children. The program's total experience exceeds 900 heart transplants.
A heart transplant is a surgical procedure that removes the diseased heart and replaces it with a healthy one from an organ donor. In order for a heart to be removed from a donor, two or more doctors must declare the donor brain-dead.
Before a patient can be put on a waiting list for a heart transplant, a doctor must certify that there is no other effective treatment available. The process takes a team effort from start to finish. Our heart transplant teams consist of doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers and cardiac rehabilitation specialists, all working together for the good of the patient.
Vanderbilt Heart has extensive experience treating patients with heart failure and advanced cardiomyopathies. Our team includes cardiac and transplant surgeons, specially trained and certified cardiologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, dieticians, psychologists, pharmacists and infectious disease doctors. Many studies have shown that this multidisciplinary approach makes for better outcomes and improved quality of life for our patients. Our rehabilitation services are among the best in the country for transplant patients.