Heart Transplant

The high-level collaboration between Mark Drazner, M.D., Medical Director of Heart Failure, LVAD, and Cardiac Transplantation (left), and Matthias Peltz, M.D., Surgical Director of Cardiac Transplantation, is at the heart of the Program's superior outcomes.

If you have heart failure and have tried heart medications or other surgeries but your condition has not sufficiently improved, you might be a candidate for a heart transplant.

The most common reason for a heart transplant is cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle causing it to pump poorly. Cardiomyopathy can be caused by many factors, including coronary artery disease (blocked arteries), viral infections, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure, and pregnancy. The heart muscle can also be damaged for unknown reasons, which is called idiopathic cardiomyopathy.

The purpose of heart transplant surgery is not only to prolong your life but also to improve your quality of life. Most patients are able to return to a normal, active life within three to six months after their transplant surgery.

Among the Best in the Country

Our Heart Transplant Program outcomes are among the best in the country and the very best in Texas. Our physicians have performed more than 500 heart transplants. In 2012, no other program in the state achieved better patient survival rates.

Celebrating Our 500th Heart Transplant

UT Southwestern celebrates its 500th heart transplant.

In 2014, UT Southwestern Medical Center’s organ transplant program reached a major milestone when the surgical team performed its 500th heart transplant.

The heart transplant program at UT Southwestern goes back 26 years, with the first one performed in 1988 by Dr. W. Steves Ring, Professor of Cardio Thoracic Surgery, on author/historian A.C. Greene, who later wrote a book about his transplant experience and his euphoria at getting a second chance at life.

Throughout the years, UT Southwestern’s heart transplant program has consistently had high survival rates. In 2014, the three-year survival rate among UT Southwestern patients was 82.22 percent, compared with a national average of 83.59 percent.

A Team Approach

For each patient, we assemble a team of physicians who specialize in all aspects of cardiovascular, imaging, and transplantation medicine. The collaborative efforts of physicians, nursing coordinators, dietitians, social workers, and other counselors enable the Heart Transplant Program to excel in providing superior care. Together, they provide each patient an individual, personalized approach to treatment.

In addition, practicing in one of the nation's leading medical and research facilities, our team is able to offer patients the latest in advanced technologies and research.