In February 2012, the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute performed Central Florida’s very first heart transplant. Working in conjunction with the world-renowned Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute, the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute, specializing in advanced heart failure, cardiac transplant and mechanical circulatory support programs, offers our patients a state-of-the-art, fully comprehensive transplant program right in their backyard.
Patients who are referred to the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute usually have advanced heart disease or irreversible heart damage. This means their heart can no longer function properly. While some medical treatments or therapies may be able to alleviate symptoms, they cannot cure the heart disease. These individuals are generally classified as “end-stage” heart failure patients.
If you are referred to the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute, our skilled team will evaluate your case to determine which advanced heart failure therapies, including heart transplantation, will work best for you.
Below are some criteria heart transplant candidates must meet to be considered for this procedure:
- Under the age of 70 (patients who have not reached their 70th birthday are considered eligible)
- Do not have a major disease that will diminish their chances of long-term survival
- No evidence of active cancer in the past five years (there may be exceptions to this rule that arise during the case review process)
- Free of drug, alcohol and tobacco use for the past six months, and committed to remaining abstinent throughout the transplantation process
- No evidence of extensive vascular disease affecting the patient’s brain, circulation or major arteries
- Support network to assist with the tests, exams and assistance required in the pre- and post-treatment phases
- Able to follow instructions related to treatment, medications, appointments and education meetings
- Adequate insurance to cover the medications needed to prevent transplant rejection; Patients who have a heart transplant will need to take medications called immunosuppresants, which are designed to prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting the new heart.
- Psychological commitment to actively participating in the transplant process