LVAD and Transplant for Advanced Heart Failure
When a patient requires a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) or a heart transplant, the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program team works with the team at Tufts Medical Center, which has been at the forefront of heart transplant surgery since 1985.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which serves as the national organ procurement and transplantation network under federal contract, Tufts Medical Center was among the top ten heart transplant centers in the United States in 2016. On average, 15 percent of the patients treated there are Rhode Islanders whose care is shared through our program.
Patients typically experience renewed health and a restoration of function after heart transplant surgery. They are able to exercise, build strength, and resume normal activities. However, after transplant surgery a patient must be monitored for life to ensure that the new heart is healthy and functioning properly, and that no additional cardiac problems develop. The patient must also take medications for life to prevent the body from rejecting the new heart.
Our cardiologist will determine the best medication(s) and dosage for a patient to achieve the correct balance of protection against rejection, while not compromising the immune system too much. Our cardiologist will also monitor the patient for side effects and complications. With excellent follow-up care, a transplant patient can sustain an excellent quality of life.