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Heart Transplant Guidelines for Tampa General Hospital

Male physician showing a document to a female patient The heart transplant guidelines that Tampa General Hospital’s Heart Transplant Program adheres to are designed to determine which patients would be best served by receiving a new heart. Some patients who are referred to our program aren’t accepted for transplant surgery but may be recommended for an alternative therapy, such as the implantation of a ventricular assist device.

We perform heart transplants only for adult patients who have life-threatening cardiac conditions, such as advanced coronary artery disease or severe congenital heart defects. These issues impair the flow of blood to the heart and the rest of the body, and a donor heart can help alleviate these problems. We also check that our patients meet the following heart transplant guidelines:

  • They have a high risk of death within a year without a transplant.
  • They are younger than 70 years old.
  • They have financial and social support in place to help with the surgery and post-surgical care.

We also have contraindications to transplant, or conditions that may prevent patients from receiving a heart transplant, which include:

  • Use of tobacco products or alcohol within three months of transplant listing or at any point throughout the process
  • Presence of an active infection
  • Impairment of other organs
  • Cancer
  • Vascular disease affecting blood flow to the brain or legs
  • Obesity

Although we generally follow all of these guidelines as we determine who to place on our transplant waiting list, we still consider each patient’s individual circumstances as we make our decision.

For more information about the heart transplant guidelines that Tampa General Hospital follows and the heart transplant selection and referral criteria for transplant candidates, call 1-800-505-7769 (press 1 for the heart transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088.