Mayo Clinic's heart transplant doctors and surgeons use proven innovations to successfully treat people with congestive heart failure and other serious heart diseases. Their experience in using advanced technology, specialized procedures and an integrated approach focused on the patient makes Mayo Clinic a leader in transplant outcomes.
Brooks S. Edwards, M.D., transplant cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, discusses how referring patients with advanced heart failure for a transplant evaluation benefits the patient and care team by providing them with more options.
Refer a patient
Learn more about early referrals for patient with advanced heart failure. Yeah. Mm hmm. When we think about the optimal time to seek specially care for heart disease, it varies and every individual patients different. But as we think about heart transplant, these tend to be patients who have a history of heart failure. Now, typically heart failure develops over many months or years. But sometimes it can develop rapidly if one has had heart failure and it's been stable and now things aren't going as well. They're having hospitalizations, they're having discharges from their defibrillator. They're not able to tolerate the medicines that their doctors have prescribed. Those are the sorts of triggers we think should get people to think would heart transplant be an option for me? And we would much rather see a patient and say gee you're doing great. You don't really need us than see a patient where that window of opportunity has closed because patients can progress and their disease can progress where the opportunity for transplant becomes very, very limited. When patients ask me, you know what what's the benefit of coming in and being evaluated? I think there are a lot of benefits. One thing first of all is that you get an additional team of providers to look at your case To think about what's going on. Are there ways to optimize your care things? We think about our declining functional status. So the patient who was able to do their usual activities and now they're having more trouble increasing hospitalizations. So patients had two hospitalizations in a 12-month period. We know that that puts them into a high risk group and then both the need for increased medication. So as we're recognizing patients are having more trouble with fluid management and they're needing more and more diuretics or becoming diuretic resistant. And at the same time, patients who are now intolerant of medications, that's a sign also that they're heading for trouble. And so I think you can sort of see these warning signs coming. And as that's approaching, it makes sense to to get a patient into a transplant center to start to address the questions because heart failure is a chronic disease, and we may choose one option today. And as their disease evolves, they may be candidates for other interventions or other treatments going down the line.