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Heart Transplantation Procedure

A Team of Experts: Our multidisciplinary team approach has set the standard of care for children with end-stage heart failure, achieving 84 percent overall long-term survival after hospital discharge. Pediatric heart transplant surgeons, cardiologists, neurologists, pediatric transplant nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, and physical therapists provide the most comprehensive care possible for children with complex conditions. Dedicated Care for Cardiomyopathy: Cardiomyopathy is the leading reason for heart transplantation in children.

Pediatric Heart Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

Roughly one in five infants and children with cardiomyopathy that causes symptoms need a transplant within the first year of diagnosis. We specialize in transplanting children with end-stage congestive heart failure due to cardiomyopathy and children with complex congenital heart disease who are not candidates for palliative or corrective surgery. We also have a dedicated Center for Pediatric Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure and Transplantation, which provides state-of-the-art care for children with complex congenital heart disease and severe heart disorders.

Vancomycin and piperacillin-tazobactam are commonly used for empiric bacterial prophylaxis, and is stopped after donor blood cultures have been assessed. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is often used for P. Low flows from the VAD may be due to inflow obstruction either due to malposition or a collapsed left ventricle RV failure, hypovolemia, etc.

Echocardiography should be used liberally to assess the volume status of the supported ventricle.

Heart transplantation

Pulmonary vascular resistance should be managed as discussed above. Mechanical problems may necessitate return to the operating room. A leading cause of mortality in this patient population. Often surgical intervention is required, with rare patients requiring VAD explantation and replacement with a transplanted heart. Common following VAD placement due to preoperative illness e. Patients who receive ventricular assist devices are at increased risk for thromboembolism and neurologic deficit as compared to medically managed patients. Not all patients will require anticoagulation, although most will be on some form of anti-platelet agent.

Device failure is the second leading cause of long-term mortality after sepsis in patients who receive a ventricular assist device. The most likely cause of failure is related to the type of device employed. As the technology has improved, ventricular assist devices have been safely used for increasing periods of time. The spectrum of ventricular assist devices ranges in invasiveness from intra-aortic balloon pumps IABPs , which are placed in the descending thoracic aorta via a femoral artery access point, to the more invasive and implantable ventricular assist devices e.

Thoratec HeartMate II , which require cannulation of both the heart and the aorta. IABPs differ from implantable ventricular assist devices in that rather than augmenting cardiac output throughout the cardiac cycle, the focus of the IABP is to simultaneously increase cardiac output while at the same time decreasing myocardial oxygen consumption and improving myocardial blood flow. Although placement of a pVAD requires access to the femoral arteries and veins, pVADs can be placed outside of the operating room environment.

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To ensure perfusion of oxygenated blood, the 21 French venous cannula must be advanced across the intra-atrial septum and into the left atrium — because pVAD inflow is generally less than with implantable VADs which derive their inflow from the ventricle itself , pVADs are often unable to decompress the failing left ventricle and thus are not able to reduce myocardial oxygen consumption to the same extent as some of the implantable VADs.

Other ventricular assist devices designed for short term use include the Impella pump system by Abiomed, and the Lifebridge by Lifebridge AG. It is a pulsatile flow device implanted in a preperitoneal pocket or within the peritoneum itself. It has a textured titanium inner surface, which reduces thrombogenicity.


The inflow cannula is placed in the left ventricular apex and the outflow cannula in the ascending aorta. The Heartmate II is less pulsatile which may improve outcomes and compared to the XVE is smaller, more durable, and easier to implant. As in the XVE, the inflow cannula is placed in the left ventricular apex and the outflow cannula in the ascending aorta. Ventricular assist devices do not obey the Frank-Starling Law. Their output depends on both preload and afterload. As afterload increases, output decreases.

A native heart that has completely failed will often not produce any pressure, leading to a flat arterial pressure tracing. A native heart that continues to beat either because the VAD RPMs are too low or due to recovery will eject some blood through the aortic valve, leading to pulsatile blood flow.

Clinical, Pathology, Imaging and Molecular Profiles

VADs do not measure their own output; rather, they estimate it based on RPMs and the amount of power they consume. These data are based primarily on patients who received VADs as a bridge to transplantation, and thus more recent patients e. Rose, EA. New England Journal of Medicine. Lietz, K. Slaughter, MS.

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All rights reserved. No sponsor or advertiser has participated in, approved or paid for the content provided by Decision Support in Medicine LLC. Login Register. Heart transplantation Synonym. A number of different conditions can damage your heart to the point where other treatments are unsuccessful and a transplant is the best chance for cure. These include:. Other conditions may exclude a patient from consideration for a transplant, such as irreversible pulmonary hypertension, cancer, HIV, active drug or alcohol addiction, acute mental incompetence and severe muscle loss due to malnutrition, called cardiac cachexia.

A number of other conditions are evaluated on an individual basis to determine transplant suitability. Once it is determined that you would benefit from transplant surgery, your name will be placed on a waiting list to receive a donor heart. There currently are not enough donor hearts available for the people who need them. Under national regulations, hearts must go to the sickest patients first in a given area.

Research currently is being done to evaluate devices that potentially could act as a "bridge" to transplantation by replacing heart function with a machine until a donor heart is available. Our staff will determine your general suitability for transplantation using preliminary information from your referring doctor. After this initial assessment, a very comprehensive evaluation is conducted. Our approach to this is flexible although we do insist that every potential candidate and their family visit UCSF Medical Center at least once before the transplant.

Have You Ever Wondered What Happens During a Heart Transplant?

All candidates are seen by UCSF's transplant team that includes a cardiologist, surgeon, transplant coordinator and social worker. If the patient lives far away from San Francisco, the team works with the referring doctor to complete portions of the pre-transplant selection protocol in your local community.

The pre-transplant evaluation includes assessment of both the cardiac and extra-cardiac systems. Stable patients usually are able to complete the standard pre-transplant selection protocol on an outpatient basis. One of the most important components of the cardiac evaluation is an assessment of pulmonary vascular health.