Heart Transplant

This information is useful for children, adults, and older adults
Doctor and patient are discussing something, just hands at the table.
Why Yale Medicine?
  • We have been performing heart transplants for more than a quarter century. We have provided superb outcomes for many patients who would otherwise die of heart failure.
  • Yale Medicine cardiologists and surgeons have deep expertise. Each one specializes in a particular area of knowledge in heart transplantation.
  • Our cardiac patients have access to full-spectrum, life-saving care, ranging rom the least-invasive drug therapies to advanced surgery.

After the first heart transplant took place in 1967, the earliest patients were treated like celebrities. Medical knowledge and technology has improved dramatically since then. While heart transplants are still considered a treatment of last resort, they are the gold standard therapy for end-stage heart failure

“The best thing you can do for a potential heart transplant patient is to help them avoid a transplant,” says Daniel Jacoby, MD, director of the Comprehensive Heart Failure Program at Yale Medicine and assistant professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine. However, if a heart transplant is necessary, Yale Medicine is one of the best places to be, Dr. Jacoby says. Yale Medicine's heart failure cardiologists and surgeons have an extensive track record of outstanding clinical outcomes in conventional operations for heart failure, implantation of mechanical circulatory support devices, and cardiac transplantation. They are national leaders in both clinical and basic scientific research in areas relevant to heart failure.

When a patient suffers from progressive heart failure and no other treatment has been successful in solving the problem, a doctor may recommend a heart transplant. The doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation and decide on a plan for supporting the patient until a heart becomes available.  

Once a suitable heart is identified, a surgeon will remove the diseased heart and replace it with a donor’s heart, reconnecting all the major arteries. The length of surgery will vary depending on the patient's unique situation, but usually it lasts four hours.