Many patients with heart failure feel some symptom relief by limiting their fluid and salt intake, taking medicines prescribed by their doctors, and/or having surgery and placement of pacemakers and defibrillators.
But sometimes, a patient's heart failure worsens despite medical therapy and surgical therapy. Patients with worsening heart failure experience symptoms (like difficulty breathing, fatigue or swelling) that may increase in frequency or severity. Their ability to perform normal daily activities like eating, bathing and grooming decreases despite medications or heart surgery.
After extensive discussion with their cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, patients who are good candidates for heart transplantation are registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in order to find a donor heart.
Transferring Patients to the Center for Heart Transplantation
Collaboration with referring physicians and their staffs is an essential part of our approach to treating heart transplant patients. We recognize the integral role that referring physicians from outside institutions play in coordinating a safe and seamless transfer of care for their patients to Northwestern Memorial’s Center for Heart Failure.
In addition to providing patients and families with information, the items below offer insight into our heart transplantation program so referring physicians have the necessary resources to best help their patients.
Team Approach for Heart Transplantation
Northwestern Memorial’s Center for Heart Failure at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is led by Allen S. Anderson, MD and Duc Thinh Pham, MD. Dr. Anderson is a cardiologist, medical director of the Center for Heart Failure and the medical director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance. He is responsible for pre- and post-operative patient management both in the hospital and at home. Dr. Pham is a cardiothoracic surgeon, surgical director of the Center for Heart Failure and the surgical director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Assistance. Dr. Pham has extensive experience in both ventricular assist devices and heart transplantation, and is responsible for post-operative patient management.
Heart transplantation at Northwestern Memorial is performed by highly skilled cardiac surgeons with extensive experience in this specialty. Surgeons work as a team with cardiologists, nurses and other staff who coordinate in-hospital care and outpatient management. We have a dedicated heart transplant clinic that coordinates outpatient heart transplant management.
For more information regarding heart transplant or to obtain a consultation, please contact the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at 312-NM-HEART (664-3278) or request a first time appointment online.
For more information regarding clinical trials related to heart failure, please visit the Clinical Trials Unit of Northwestern,
send an email or call 312-926-4000.