Conditions that May Lead to a Heart Transplant at Tampa General Hospital

Heart Transplant ConditionsA physician may recommend a heart transplant as a treatment for several different conditions. When a heart is so damaged that it cannot adequately pump blood throughout the body (due to ventricular damage, genetic defects, or other problems), replacing it with a healthier donor heart can lead to significantly better heart function and blood flow. However, a transplant will typically not be suggested until a patient has already attempted other forms of treatment without success, and is considered to be in end stage heart failure.

Cardiovascular conditions that may eventually require a heart transplant include:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy – A condition in which the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, thus preventing the heart from adequately pumping blood to the rest of the body.
  • Ischemic cardiomyopathy – A condition in which the left ventricle, the chamber that supplies most of the body with oxygenated blood, becomes weakened and enlarged, and loses its ability to adequately supply blood to the rest of the body (this is a sub-type of dilated cardiomyopathy).
  • Congenital heart disease – A collection of conditions (including heart valve defects, heart muscle abnormalities, and defects in the walls between the atria and the ventricles of the heart) that are present at birth.
  • Coronary artery disease – A condition in which the arteries that bring blood to the heart become progressively narrower, interfering with blood flow and function.
  • Valvular disease – A collection of conditions (including mitral valve prolapse and valvular stenosis) that can prevent valves in the heart from opening or closing correctly, interfering with proper circulation.

cardiothoracic referral form buttonAlthough these issues are often first treated with medications or mechanical support (such as a ventricular assist device or a balloon pump), these conditions may eventually necessitate a heart transplant. Patients who experience advanced congestive heart failure and are not expected to benefit from other forms of therapy, and have an estimated life span of one year or less without a transplant, can be referred by their cardiologist to a specialty center such as Tampa General Hospital’s Transplant Center to undergo further evaluation.

Tampa General’s Heart Transplant Program treats patients with a number of underlying conditions, including dilated cardiomyopathy, ischemic cardiomyopathy, and congenital heart disease. Tampa General is also a recognized leader in mechanical circulatory support and the implantation of ventricular assist devices; our heart transplant team can evaluate patients to determine the most appropriate option for their situation.