Baptist Heart Transplant Program
The Baptist Heart Transplant Program is the only Medicare-certified adult heart transplant provider in Memphis, and most insurance companies have named our program a Center of Excellence. Our experienced team of cardiologists, nurses and cardiac specialists at the Baptist Heart Institute work together to manage your care at every stage, with the goal of helping you return to a full and productive life.
The Heart Transplant Journey
Referral: After being referred to the Baptist Heart Transplant Program, you are carefully evaluated by a multidisciplinary team to ensure that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Physicians who would like to refer a patient for transplantation may call our direct referral line at 901-226-3712.
Waiting List: The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) matches transplant recipients with available organs based on location, time spent on the waiting list, blood type, body size and severity of illness. When a compatible donor organ becomes available, the transplant coordinator will notify you, and you will be admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.
Donor Evaluation & Procurement: All potential heart donors are assessed carefully. The ultimate decision of suitability is made by the transplant cardiologist and surgeon. While one member of the surgery team travels to the donor hospital to procure the heart, the surgeon prepares you for surgery. The heart transplant procedure typically takes 6 to 8 hours, but can sometimes be longer.
Recovery: After surgery, you are cared for in the Cardio-Pulmonary Transplant Unit (CPTU) at the Baptist Heart Institute located inside Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. How quickly you recover depends on many factors: age, general health and response to the transplant. Most patients are up and about within 48 hours after surgery and home in 10 to 14 days.
- Each patient participates in a cardiac rehabilitation program to help regain strength of the musculoskeletal system. This begins about two weeks after transplant or discharge.
- Transplant pharmacists and coordinators educate patients so they understand their medications and their impact on the immune system.
- A transplant dietitian works with all patients to assess their nutritional needs.
- A physical therapist will help develop a sustainable exercise plan to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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