Heart Transplant Services

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Constance McKinney

Knowing you or a loved one needs a heart transplant is overwhelming. Lutheran Hospital's transplant team understands this and works together to deliver clinical expertise, emotional support and ongoing education before, during and after a heart transplant.

  • Since 1985, Lutheran Hospital's heart transplant team has guided hundreds of people from pretransplant assessment to surgery to post-operative care.
  • Lutheran is the only hospital in northern Indiana with heart transplant and ventricular assist, or VAD, services.
  • The hospital's heart transplant program has touched the lives of residents throughout northern Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio, providing many with a new lease on life.

Multidisciplinary Care
Heart transplant patients receive care from a team of healthcare professionals from different disciplines, or specialty areas. This team coordinates ongoing treatment and support through each step of the heart transplant journey and includes:

First Steps to Heart Transplant
When medications and therapies are no longer effective in treating advanced heart failure or certain other heart conditions, the next step may be a heart transplant.

A pre-evaluation enables patients to learn more about heart transplant services and allows the transplant team to determine if the procedure will be beneficial. The evaluation consists of specialized testing and consultations with members of the heart transplant team.

  • The transplant coordinator arranges the evaluation and provides education.
  • The heart transplant social worker interviews each patient and his/her support team, gathering a complete psychosocial history (family background, education, employment background, current family members, general personality, available support system, etc.).
  • The dietitian provides nutritional evaluation and counseling.
  • The financial coordinator reviews each patient's insurance and financial responsibilities.

The transplant center's selection committee reviews each completed evaluation to determine if the patient will benefit from transplantation. In some cases, further testing or consultation is required. Patients approved for heart transplant can then decide if they want to be placed on the waiting list for a donor heart.