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Heart & Vascular Institute

Advanced Heart Failure, Circulatory Support, & Transplantation Program

Temple’s Advanced Heart Failure, Circulatory Support, & Transplantation Program offers patients a wide range of treatments for conditions that lead to heart failure. Our goal is to help improve the function of your heart, diagnose and treat your condition, and relieve your symptoms so you can lead a longer, happier life.

We offer the latest advances in medical, device and surgical therapy — including heart transplantation or a heart pump — for patients who have had other treatments that are no longer effective. In 2019, Temple expanded its heart transplant criteria to help even more patients qualify for these life-saving surgeries. Many other heart transplant centers have strict cutoffs due to age or medical conditions, but through our guidelines, we’re able to consider each patient individually.

Our decisions are based on many factors, including your unique medical and personal history. These broader criteria mean we often accept and give a chance to patients who other hospitals turn down for transplantation.

Leading Authorities and Pioneers in Heart Transplantation

Video: Offering Heart Transplants to More Heart Failure Patients
We offer more patients with heart failure a chance at life through expanded evaluation criteria and innovative methods to accept heart donations. Data presented in video from the Jan 2020 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients report.
We offer more patients with heart failure a chance at life through expanded evaluation criteria and innovative methods to accept heart donations. Data presented in video from the Jan 2020 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients report.

The Temple Heart & Vascular Institute is a nationally recognized leader in heart transplantation:

  • We stand among the best in the country, with 85.0% of our patients with a heart transplant living with a functioning donor heart within 1 year after surgery. These outcomes are on par with some of the leading heart transplantation centers in the nation.
  • Temple has over 35 years of experience in performing heart transplant. We were the first hospital in the Delaware Valley to perform a heart transplant, and we were also the first to perform 1,000 transplants. Since that first surgery back in 1984, we’ve performed more than 1,300 heart transplants, including complex multi-organ transplants.
  • Our specialists are pioneers in developing new therapies and enhancing care practices for our patients with advanced heart disease. This is reflected in our recently expanded guidelines as a heart transplant center, which offer broader criteria and hope for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options.
  • Our groundbreaking clinical trials involve special surgical procedures, new transplantation techniques and stem cell and gene therapies. This allows us to provide some of the most advanced evaluation and therapies to our patients.
  • Through our partnership with the Temple Center for Translational Medicine, we’re dedicated to converting laboratory breakthroughs into effective treatments for patients with heart failure in much less time than ever before.

Hope for Patients Requiring Advanced Treatment Support

Temple's Advanced Heart Failure, Circulatory Support, & Transplantation Program is dedicated to improving your heart function and quality of life, no matter where you are in the heart transplant process. Following your comprehensive evaluation, our transplant team focuses on stabilizing your condition.

If needed, we consider technologies to provide temporary or long-term alternatives to transplantation. These include:

When a heart transplant is required, Temple surgeons and advanced heart failure specialists collaborate to evaluate and prepare you for surgery. Total artificial heart may be an option if you require biventricular support as you wait for a suitable donor heart.

Dedicated Multidisciplinary Team

At Temple, our specialists are committed to your care. Our dedication to each patient extends beyond the hospital, because we know that the transition home can present many challenges for you. Our experienced heart transplant and VAD coordinators arrange the entire transition process.

You can expect full support from our team, which includes:

  • Advanced heart failure cardiologists
  • Cardiovascular imaging specialists
  • Interventional cardiologists
  • Electrophysiologists
  • Cardiovascular surgeons

Patients considering a heart transplant need a knowledgeable team of physicians, nurses and other specialists to guide them through this long process. We see thousands of patients who need a heart transplant each year. We offer new mechanical circulatory support solutions, which may greatly increase quality of life for patients awaiting a transplant, as well as for patients who are not deemed eligible.

Care Before Heart Transplant Surgery

Heart transplant can offer a new lease on life for many, but it's not always the first option to consider when treating heart failure. For many, medications and cardiac rehabilitation programs may help to reduce symptoms.

If medications like beta blockers (that can reduce blood pressure) or antiarrhythmics (that maintain normal heart beats) do not work, there are devices and procedures that Temple’s heart failure team can try before a heart transplant. Those options include:

  • Minimally invasive implantable devices like cardiac synchronization therapy to ensure proper heartbeat for those who meet criteria. Cardiac contractility modulation (CCM) is another device that can help support heart contraction for those eligible.
  • Mechanical circulatory support like ventricular assist devices or an artificial heart to help the heart pump blood.
  • Surgeries to improve heart function, including coronary artery bypass grafting, valve surgery, pericardiectomy or septal myectomy.

Dual-Organ Heart Transplant Program

For patients experiencing multiple organ failure, Temple transplant specialists can perform a dual-organ heart transplant, including:

  • Heart-kidney transplant
  • Heart-liver transplant
  • Heart-lung transplant

Conditions We Treat

The extensive experience of Temple’s advanced heart failure team allows us to address the full spectrum of cardiac conditions leading to heart failure, including but not limited to:

Stories from Our Patients

Gerry's Story
Gerry underwent a heart transplant at Temple that saved his life. Today, he's here for moments that matter most.
Gerry underwent a heart transplant at Temple that saved his life. Today, he's here for moments that matter most.

Over 1,300 people have received a heart transplant at Temple and started living well again.

Thanks to a heart transplant at Temple, many patients are back to enjoying more fulfilling lives — from walking the dog to chasing giggling toddlers.

Here are some of their stories >

Ready for an Appointment?

Find a doctor near you, request an appointment, or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.