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Heart Transplantation

Heart transplantation can be a necessary procedure to save the life of someone whose heart no longer functions properly because of a viral infection or chronic cardiovascular disease. Heart transplantation entails a surgeon removing an individual’s diseased or damaged heart and replacing it with a healthier organ from a suitable donor. Since 1988, thousands of heart transplants are performed each year in the United States, according to data compiled by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

However, heart transplantation is a major procedure that may not be an appropriate or immediate solution for every individual with a heart condition. Heart transplantation is typically reserved for people who have been diagnosed with end-stage congestive heart failure and have an expected survival rate of less than one year without a transplant, and are not candidates for or have not responded to other conventional medical or surgical therapies.

More than 1,000 adults have qualified to receive a transplant in Tampa General Hospital’s Heart Transplant Program since the program began in 1985, and the average volume of heart transplantation procedures performed at TGH since 2001 makes it one of the busiest cardiac transplant programs in the nation and in Florida. Other notable facts about TGH’s Heart Transplant Program include:

  • The time to transplant is one of the shortest of any heart transplant program in Florida and in the nation, according to Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

  • The program’s one-year patient survival rate and three-year survival rate typically meet or exceed the national average.

  • A team of highly respected transplant surgeons, among many other talented and experienced personnel dedicated to delivering comprehensive care, are involved in TGH’s program.

To schedule an appointment with the Heart and Vascular Institute, call 813-844-3900 or email

At TGH’s Heart Transplant Program, heart transplants may be performed to address several specific conditions that are known to lead to end-stage heart failure, including congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, dilated cardiomyopathy, and ischemic cardiomyopathy. Candidates for heart transplantation are determined by TGH’s Heart Transplant Program Medical Review Board based on the information that is provided in a completed cardiothoracic transplant referral form and other factors. For individuals who do not qualify for heart transplantation at TGH’s Heart Transplant Program, alternate treatments may be available.

TGH is a recognized leader in mechanical circulatory support (MCS), and our surgeons can implant ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to transplant, bridge to recovery, or destination therapy. The team at TGH will help each patient find the treatment option that’s most appropriate for his or her specific situation.