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Treatments & Options for Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Patients

Our team seeks to recognize and treat heart failure as early as possible in order to avoid or delay the need for heart transplantation. When heart transplantation does become necessary, we aim to perform this therapy in the safest possible manner. This combination gives your child the best possible chance for healthy growth and development.

Treating heart failure requires paying careful attention to small changes in a child's condition and adjusting medications in response to these changes. To achieve this, we work closely with your child's referring physician to create an effective safety net. Under our team's guidance, we provide the most advanced heart failure therapy available, backed by ongoing research that defines how best to treat this condition.

When medications are not sufficient, we provide additional therapies such as special forms of cardiac pacemakers that support heart function, implantable defibrillators that protect against dangerous arrhythmia and ventricular assist devices to support even the most severely affected hearts.

When it comes to advanced support, your child will have access to the best. Our physicians were among the very first to petition the FDA for unique use of the Berlin Heart external pump device to support patients awaiting transplant, and our hospital holds the record for the longest Berlin Heart use in North America at 234 days. We are a nationally recognized leader in ventricular assist device treatments and routinely provide advanced cardiac support, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and totally implantable left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) support for older patients. Many of our implantable LVAD patients are able to leave the hospital while awaiting heart transplantation.

Heart transplantation is performed when medical treatments are no longer sufficient. By managing both heart failure and transplant in a single program, we are better able to determine when this moment arrives. If transplant should become necessary, your child will be in experienced and caring hands. We have over 40 years of experience in performing heart transplantation in the most complex types of patients. Our team includes cardiologists, heart transplant surgeons, heart failure and heart transplantation nurse specialists, and cardiac anesthesiologists. We all work closely together to plan, perform and guide recovery from heart transplantation to return your child to health.

Alongside our clinical care program, we actively participate in and lead research efforts to improve results. Some of the ways in which we are using our expertise to improve outcomes for children with heart disease include seeking to understand viral infections in organ transplant recipients, developing new non-invasive tests to monitor organ rejection, developing new VAD systems for children and testing new heart failure medications.