Two surgeons working together on a heart transplant

Heart Transplant

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You've been told you need a heart transplant. You're wondering about your future. You're nervous about surgery. Here, we can answer your questions about what a heart ransplant means for you. We have the experts and tools to help. 

Heart Transplants & Care at UVA Health

At UVA Health, we’ve performed more than 300 heart transplants since 1989. We've received 2 awards from the American Heart Association for our heart failure care. And Becker’s Hospital Review named UVA Health’s Heart & Vascular Center to its 2023 list of 100 hospitals and health systems with great heart programs.

See other awards and recognition for our heart care.

Before Your Heart Transplant

First, we check if you are a good fit for a heart transplant. Our team of experts guides you through each step of the way to make sure you get the best treatment. 

Find out what happens before you get a heart transplant at UVA Health.

While You Wait for a New Heart

We're experts in supporting your health while you wait for new heart. We have a in a wide variety of therapies, including medicines and devices, to manage your condition while you wait.

Learn about the transplant coordinators, financial help, and other features and benefits of the UVA Health Transplant Center.

patients and doctors at support group

Find Needed Support

Our monthly Heart and Lung Transplant Support Group the fourth Thursday of every month, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Meetings are open to patients, family members and friends.

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The Heart Transplant Procedure

During a heart transplant, the team removes the heart from the donor. They have to move fast because the heart can't stay outside the body for too long. It must be transplanted within 4 hours.

After that, the team takes out your sicks heart and replaces it with the healthy donated heart. They connect the important blood vessels inside you to the donated heart.

Your Hospital Stay

The hospital stay for a heart transplant is usually 10-20 days.

During the hospital stay, we'll carefully watch your health and train you on self-care. We'll also get you started with medicines you'll need to protect your heart from rejection (your body doesn't accept the donor heart).

Learn what to expect after a heart transplant.

Destination VADs

UVA Health is a Center for Destination VADs (ventricular assist devices). These devices help pump blood.

At other hospitals, you can only get a VAD if you're waiting for a transplant. Here, we can also offer VADs if you don't necessarily need a transplant. VADs can extend your life if your age or other health conditions prevent you from getting a heart transplant.

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