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Heart Transplant

Middle aged couple hugging and smilingA heart transplant may be necessary to save the life of a patient whose heart is no longer functioning properly because of chronic cardiovascular disease or viral infection. During a cardiac transplant, a surgeon will remove a patient’s damaged or diseased heart, and replace it with a healthier heart from a suitable donor.

At Tampa General Hospital’s Transplant Center, a heart transplant may be performed to address several specific conditions, including dilated cardiomyopathy, ischemic cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension, and congenital heart disease, all of which lead to end-stage heart failure. Therefore, heart transplants are typically reserved for patients with end-stage congestive heart failure who have an estimated survival period of less than one year without the transplant, and who are not candidates for or have not been helped by other conventional medical or surgical therapies. A cardiac transplant is a major procedure and may not be an appropriate or immediate solution for every patient with a heart condition. As such, our transplant center team and Medical Review Board determine patient candidacy based on the information provided in a completed cardiothoracic transplant referral form and other factors. For patients who do qualify for a transplant, TGH’s Heart Transplant Program is one of the leading programs in the region because:
  • Over 70 percent of our patients receive a heart transplant within one year of placement on the waiting list, with over 28 percent receiving their transplant within 30 days, based on the latest Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) data released in January 2018. This makes our time to transplant one of the shortest in the nation, and the shortest in Florida.
  • Our one-year heart transplant patient survival rate of 95.28 percent is greater than the national average (91.35 percent), and our three-year survival rate of 86.54 percent also is greater than the national average of 84.97 percent, according to the latest SRTR data. Our longest-surviving heart transplant recipient has had their new heart for over three decades.
  • Our heart transplant program has a team of highly respected transplant surgeons.
  • In 1985, TGH became the first hospital in Florida to successfully perform a life-saving heart transplant. Our transplant program serves, on average, 52 patients each year since 2001, making us the most robust cardiac transplant program in the entire state of Florida and one of the busiest programs in the nation.

Cardiothoracic transplant referral form


TGH is also a recognized leader in the implantation of mechanical circulatory support (MCS), or ventricular assist devices (VADs), as a bridge to transplant, bridge to recovery, and destination therapy. MCS is an option that may be suitable for patients who are not qualified to undergo or cannot sustain a full cardiac transplant. We offer a wide selection of VADs, including Heart Mate II, Impella, Heartware, and Centrimag. Whether patients require a cardiac transplant or can benefit from an MCS implant, our expert team will help each patient find the treatment option that’s most appropriate for their specific situation.


Click here to view a video of a two-time heart transplant recipient's story.

Contact Tampa General Hospital for more information about our heart transplant program. Call 1-800-505-7769 (press 1 for heart transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088.