The Yale Heart Transplant and Left Ventricular Assist Device Program is a rapidly expanding service at the front lines of treating heart failure. Launched in 1988, the program builds upon decades of experience treating failing hearts. In 2019, we performed 49 heart transplants, putting us among the top centers of the country. Our left ventricular assist device program treats more cases than any other program in the Northeast. It provides heart pumps for patients who need support while they are waiting for a donor heart or who are ineligible for a transplant and need another permanent solution.
Heart transplants are the gold standard treatment for patients with end-stage heart failure. But many face a long, difficult wait for a donor heart, and some don’t survive. Yale Medicine is one of a handful of centers in the country to push existing boundaries in heart transplant by aggressively seeking out donor hearts other centers turn down even though they may be suitable for some patients. This process, using what’s called “donation after circulatory death” (DCD) organs, is helping more of our patients get heart transplants sooner. What’s more, our one-year survival rates for heart transplants—93%—are better than the national average.