Heart & Vascular Institute

Heart Transplant Program

staff with patient at computer

The Temple Heart & Vascular Institute has been a nationally recognized leader in heart transplantation for 40 years. Since 1984, our heart transplant team has cared for more than 1,300 people with advanced heart failure, often providing hope to patients who may not have found options at other local centers. Our program’s multispecialty team provides personalized care to every patient we see, and it’s this commitment to excellence that results in the best outcomes.

Our team consists of experts from many specialties who partner together to help ensure you and your family feel supported throughout your heart transplant journey. This multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Transplant general and interventional cardiologists
  • Electrophysiologists
  • Transplant cardiothoracic (heart-lung) surgeons
  • Cardiovascular (heart-vascular) imaging specialists
  • Specialty trained nurses and therapists
  • Pre- and post-transplant coordinators
  • Psychologists
  • Nutritionists
  • Financial coordinators
  • Social workers

From your initial consultation to the months and years after your procedure, your heart care is in our compassionate hands.

We’re Here to Support You

Here are the many reasons why you should choose us for your heart transplant care:

Our expertise is nationally recognized

Our heart transplant team is recognized nationally for its expertise in surgical treatment for people with advanced heart failure. Our team specializes in all types of heart transplantation, including multi-organ transplant such as heart-liver, heart-lung and heart-kidney transplant.

Our team works to get patients transplanted faster

Temple is the fastest list-to-transplant site in the six-state area (PA, NJ, DE, NY, MD, VA). This is the direct result of the intensive teamwork and responsiveness that takes place within our Heart Transplant Program. Temple surgeons excel at donor heart assessment and can often accept organs that other centers have declined. Temple cardiovascular surgeons have an unmatched level of expertise in the assessment of viable donor hearts. Their careful evaluation of the donor organ helps to provide more patients with an opportunity to receive a heart often in less time than other local centers.

Our research keeps forging ahead

In partnership with the Temple Center for Translational Medicine, Temple clinicians and researchers continue to search for innovative ways to prevent and treat heart failure. These include cell-based therapies that help heal the heart after heart attack to prevent heart failure from developing.

Our team supports you while you wait

The wait for a donor heart varies from person to person. For those who need additional support while they wait for a match, we can help with mechanical circulatory support for those who qualify. This may include placement of a ventricular assist device (VAD), total artificial heart or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to help your heart pump blood.

Our program offers hope for the most challenging cases

At Temple, we want to support as many patients and their families as possible, and we know that every situation is different. That’s why we expanded our transplant criteria to help more patients qualify for heart transplant. We look at every case and make decisions based on your unique clinical and personal history. This has resulted in patients receiving transplants at Temple who were told they were not eligible at other centers.

Telemedicine Services

When possible, Temple offers telemedicine appointments to meet with your doctor in the comfort of your own home. Telemedicine appointments are conducted through a video platform or on the telephone, depending on the nature of your visit.

To request a telemedicine appointment, please fill out our online form or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536).

Who’s Eligible for a Heart Transplant?

Temple has expanded heart transplant criteria to allow more patients to benefit from this life-saving procedure. Unlike other centers that have strict criteria cutoffs, we consider each case on an individual basis. Our expanded criteria open windows of opportunity for patients who:

  • Are up to age 74 (other centers 70)
  • Have a BMI (body mass index) up to 38
  • Have abstained from alcohol, smoking or marijuana for a time period based on level of dependence
  • Have an elevated panel-reactive antibody (PRA)
  • Have a history of mantle radiation
  • Have had cancer in the last 5 years
  • Are HIV positive
  • Have elevated pulmonary vascular resistance
  • Have a history of multiple sternotomies

If you qualify for a heart transplant under Temple’s expanded criteria, you’ll be approved for transplant and placed on the UNOS waiting list.

Learn more about how to get on the heart transplant waiting list >

Heart Transplant Services

Patients in need of a heart transplant require the expertise of a knowledgeable team who can help navigate any challenges they may face. The transplant team we’ve built for you at Temple is comprehensive. Our clinical experts build individualized treatment plans around every patient. And even if you’re unable or not yet ready to have a heart transplant, Temple has the expertise to provide you with alternative solutions.

We offer:

Our heart transplant support team will guide you through every step, helping to ensure you have everything you need to succeed with your care plan. We provide you with complete coordination, resources and education, including:

Ready for an Appointment?

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

Page medically reviewed by:
Eman A. Hamad, MD
October 15, 2021