Living Donation

Your Heart Transplant Journey at UPMC

When your heart failure symptoms progress to where medical treatment isn't helping, you and your doctor may talk about heart transplant.

The first step in the transplant process is for your doctor to refer you to the UPMC Heart Transplant Program. We also accept self-referrals.

Once referred to our program, our heart transplant team will:

  • Look at your medical records.
  • Check your insurance benefits. A credit analyst will contact you to discuss your coverage and costs of transplant surgery.
  • Decide if you're a good candidate for a heart transplant evaluation.
  • Get you started on your heart transplant journey.

We work closely with your referring doctor to learn about your heart problem and how a transplant might help you.

At UPMC, our heart transplant surgeons have more than 30 years of experience. They accept some of the most complex cases and may see you, even if other transplant centers said you're not a candidate.

Four Stages of the Heart Transplant Journey at UPMC

If the care team finds you might be a good fit for a heart transplant, your journey will begin.

The four stages of the heart transplant journey are:

  1. Pre-heart transplant exams and tests. This stage of the process begins after insurance approval. You'll have a number of outpatient tests and consults to see if a heart transplant is right for you. These tests and consults take about a week to complete. If we decide you're a good fit for transplant, we'll work with your insurance plan to approve the surgery.
  2. Waitlist. Next, we'll add you to the heart transplant waiting list. Your cardiologist will manage your heart failure as you wait for a new heart.
  3. Heart transplant surgery. When a donor heart is ready, your transplant coordinator will call you to come to the hospital for your transplant. You'll receive special care throughout your stay.
  4. Recovery. After you leave the hospital, you'll need to carefully follow the guidelines from your care team. You'll get details on diet, exercise, medicines, and follow-up appointments.

Our team is here for you when you need us for the rest of your life.

Contact the UPMC Heart Transplant Program today to make an appointment or learn more.