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 causing the heart muscle to pump poorly. Cardiomyopathy can result from 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 600 heart transplants, and we consistently exceed national one- and three-year survival rates.

The program is also uniquely equipped to help critically ill patients.

The Advanced Heart Failure team allows UT Southwestern physicians to provide a continuum of care before, during, and after transplantation to guarantee patients get the care they need exactly when they need it.

This extends to patients with more complicated comorbidities as well. By working closely with the other transplant programs at UT Southwestern, the heart team is able to tackle tough cases, such as multi-organ transplants and adult congenital heart patients. These are rare conditions that few other centers are equipped to treat.

Celebrating Our 600th Heart Transplant

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s organ transplant program reached a major milestone when the surgical team performed its 600th heart transplant. 

The heart transplant program at UT Southwestern goes back nearly 30 years, with its first heart transplant performed in 1988 by Dr. W. Steves Ring, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Ring’s patient was author/historian A.C. Greene, who later wrote a book about his transplant experience and his euphoria at getting a second chance at life.

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.