At UHN, we strive to deliver Compassionate Care & Caring. Learn more about the services and supports that are available to you throughout your journey.
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Learn about having a heart transplant.
The Heart Transplant Program at UHN is part of our comprehensive management of patients with advanced heart failure. We are a multidisciplinary team that includes cardiologists, anesthetists, cardiac surgeons, nurse practitioners, transplant nurse coordinators and transplant mentors dedicated to improving patient outcomes. We perform about 20 to 30 heart transplants a year.
We provide support and education throughout your heart transplant journey to help you and your family prepare for your surgery and recovery.
Your pre-transplant evaluation will consist of medical tests and interviews with members of your transplant team. We want to make sure you're healthy enough for your operation and that there's nothing else wrong with your other organs. Sometimes our assessment will find a problem that makes a transplant a poor option for you, or we find a problem that may need correcting before the operation.
All resources are in PDF format unless otherwise indicated.
After your transplant surgery, you will be carefully monitored. We will monitor for rejection of the transplant using heart biopsies and heart ultrasounds, and we will use immune medications to prevent rejection. We will also monitor for infection, cancer and transplant heart artery disease.
Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will learn about your medications, your post-transplant care and what to watch for. You will also learn how to communicate with our team, and you will receive information about your first follow-up appointment. During your follow-up clinic visits, we will also review your medications and other important issues.
Social workers, psychiatrists and transplant mentors are also available to help you handle the natural stress associated with a heart transplant.
We work in partnership with your family doctor and referring cardiologist to make sure that you receive comprehensive care.
Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Usually, you will have your blood collected in the Heart Transplant Clinic before being seen. Follow-up appointments usually take 1 hour.
EasyCall is a telephone communication system used to communicate with your transplant team. Before you are discharged from the hospital, the transplant secretary will teach you how to access this system. You will receive a personal identification number and a password to use Easy Call. You will have access to Easy Call 24 hours a day, and our team will retrieve and return messages Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.
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what you can expect when you have a clinic appointment.
Visit our Health Information section to find dedicated resources to help you understand your condition.
Find the information you're looking for.
We are a multidisciplinary, comprehensive team that includes cardiologists, anesthetists, cardiac surgeons, nurse practitioners, transplant nurse coordinators, social workers, a psychiatrist/psychiatric nurse, physiotherapists, nutritionists and transplant mentors.
Medical Director: Dr. Michael McDonald
Advanced Heart Failure Cardiologists
Heart Transplant Cardiologists
Post-Heart Transplant Nurse Coordinators
Post-Heart Transplant Admin
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.