Seeking a heart transplant for your child is an emotionally difficult step for any parent to take. But it also may be the best opportunity for your child to grow, thrive, and live a healthy life. At Duke Children's, we understand the impact a heart transplant will have on you, your child, and the rest of your family. We've helped many families through the process, and we're here to help yours, too.
We're with You Every Step of the Way
Our pediatric heart transplant program is part of our pediatric heart surgery program, which offers a full spectrum of medical and surgical treatments for children with congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, and other heart diseases.
Comprehensive Transplant Process
We help you and your family understand your child's medical condition, what to expect from surgery and medical treatment, and how to cope with the realities of having a critically ill child.
Your Child's Team
In addition to a pediatric transplant cardiologist and heart surgeon, your child's team will include financial counselors, transplant coordinators, and advanced-care nurses to help you navigate the entire process. Your transplant coordinator will be the main point of contact for your child's care team and will be able to answer questions about the entire process from the initial evaluation, to surgery, and beyond.
Emotional and Physical Support
We'll also make sure you and your family understand your child's emotional and physical needs before and after a transplant.
Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center provides expert care in a child- and family-friendly environment.
Complementary Transplant Care
Our experts also provide advanced heart therapies and support options before, during, and after surgery.
Advanced Medical Therapies for Heart Failure
We provide the latest medical therapies for heart failure that is not severe enough to warrant a transplant. Your child may be able to participate in clinical trials of new drug therapies for heart failure.
Ventricular Assist Devices
A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a surgically placed mechanical pump that supports a child’s heart. It often serves as a bridge while your child waits for a heart transplant. A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) helps the heart pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. A right ventricular assist device (RVAD) helps pump oxygen-poor blood to the lungs. Some children need a device that does both. Our doctors are skilled in implanting all types of ventricular assist devices.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a system that pumps and oxygenates your child's blood from outside his or her body -- similar to heart-lung bypass machines that are used during heart surgery. It can be used to allow your child's heart and lungs to rest before and after transplant.
Why Choose Duke
When you choose Duke for your child's heart transplant, our highly skilled team will provide care before, during, and after the procedure, using advanced medical and surgical strategies to achieve the best possible outcome.
Leaders in Transplantation Research
Our doctors are leaders in transplantation research. This could give your child access to new therapies and best practices in heart transplantation through our programs and clinical trials.
When appropriate, we can perform ABO-incompatible transplants -- an approach that allows your child to receive a donor heart that doesn't match their blood type. This can mean a shorter wait time.
We Accept Complex Patients
We perform transplants on children with complex medical conditions, including those who need multi-organ transplants. We often accept patients who other transplant centers can’t or won't work with. As one of the few centers in the region with mobile ECMO capability, we are able to transport the most critically ill children to our center.
Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in nine pediatric specialties.