Learning that your child needs a heart transplant can be an overwhelming experience. It is reassuring to know that experienced care from pediatric heart experts is available at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Heart Center. Our highly skilled teams have decades of experience in providing compassionate care for children and their families.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital: Leaders in Pediatric Heart Transplants
Established in 1986, the pediatric heart transplant program at St. Louis Children's Hospital has given new life to hundreds of young patients, from newborns just three days old to young adults. We offer:
- One of the largest and most active pediatric heart transplant programs in the United States
- Internationally renowned heart transplant surgeons and cardiologists
- Excellent heart transplant outcomes
- A destination for families from coast to coast seeking heart transplant expertise
- Comprehensive care and personalized coordination from our specially trained nurses
- First pediatric heart transplant program in the Midwest to reach the milestone of 500 heart transplants
The success of our heart transplant program shows in our results. Since 2011, our survival rate for children who need heart transplant after a Fontan procedure has been 100 percent – all 15 children. Historically, the survival rate had been only about 70 percent.
Our Approach to Heart Transplants
Our primary goal is successful procedures that give children new hearts that will sustain them throughout their active, healthy lives. We are also dedicated to addressing your concerns and helping you play an active role in your child’s care before, during and after surgery.
Our approach for successful heart transplants includes:
- Working closely with you to prepare your child for a heart transplant
- Partnering with you to keep your child in optimal health while waiting for surgery
- Ensuring precise coordination within our own team to make the surgery and recovery go as smoothly as possible
- Creating an individualized, presurgical brief on your child’s case, which we review with our team of heart specialists
- Collaborating with your referring doctor
- Using a mobile app to update you during the surgery, with pictures and texts every 20 minutes
- Providing excellent postsurgery care to rebuild your child’s health and strength
Lifelong Partnerships for Health after Heart Transplant
The majority of infants and older children we treat go on to enjoy childhood and lead full, active lives. They reach normal development levels for their ages, attend school and participate in a variety of everyday activities. Meet our patients and watch our videos of recent success stories.
We build lifelong partnerships with our heart transplant patients and their families. We provide personalized follow-up care at any time and any stage of your child’s life. Learn more about heart transplant in children, including what follow-up entails and what to expect from surgery.
Meet the Experts
Our world-renowned pediatric heart transplant team includes:
- Cardiothoracic surgeons
- Cardiac intensivists
- Nurse clinicians
- Nursing staff members
- Social workers and therapists
Together, they have decades of expertise in caring for children who receive heart transplants. Just as important, our team knows the challenges you face when your child is critically ill – and we all specialize in compassionate care to help you through the care journey. Meet the team.
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Related Programs & Services
We offer world-class care to children thanks in part to generous gifts from hundreds of people who have joined us as Guardians of Childhood. This philanthropic support enabled us to fulfill our mission to do what's right for kids. Join us in making health care better for all children.