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Preparing for a Heart Transplant

Heart transplant is not simply a surgical procedure – it is a lifetime commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, follow-up care and adherence to a strict medical regimen that will be necessary to protect your child’s heart.

Initial Clinic Visit

After your local cardiologist refers you to our program, in most cases, we will meet with your child for an initial clinic consultation visit. This will allow us to learn more about your child’s condition and to introduce you to the transplant process. Brief testing may be done and a date will be set to complete a full evaluation of your child and your family.

Transplant Evaluation

In order for your child to be considered for transplant, he/she must be evaluated here at UF Health Shands Hospital. Your family will meet with multiple specialists who will ask you for information about you and your child and will also give you all the information you need regarding heart transplantation. The evaluation will also include a series of tests to see how severe your child’s condition is and to determine if transplantation is the best treatment or if there are other options. We will also check for other medical issues that may prevent him/her from getting the best results from a transplant. Once all of these tests are completed the transplant team will analyze the results to determine if your child meets the criteria for a new heart.

Transplant Evaluation Review

After the evaluation is complete a multi-disciplinary committee will meet to review all of the results to determine whether or not your child is a candidate for heart transplant. The team will discuss any medical issues that may make the procedure too risky for your child as well as any psychosocial barriers to success.