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Hope for High-Risk Heart Failure Patients

Patients once considered too "high-risk" for heart transplant may have renewed hope and another chance at being listed for transplant, after evaluation at UW Health's high-risk heart transplant program.


Designed specifically as a second-chance option for patients who might fall outside the typical transplant candidate parameters, such as advanced age or co- morbidities, the program uses the combined expertise of UW Health cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons to bring new hope to high-risk patients.


"These patients are complex, with multiple issues that might lead a physician to continue to simply manage the patient's heart failure with no hope for a healthier future," says, Maryl Johnson, MD, Medical Director of the Heart Failure and Transplantation Program. "Our program gives physicians another option to offer to these patients."


Upon referral, patients are evaluated by heart-failure cardiologists and surgeons. As one of the nation's most successful heart failure and transplant programs, UW Health experts can consider the risk and outcomes of many treatment options; including destination VADS. With experienced cardiologists and surgeons from around the world, the program utilizes innovative treatment options and surgical techniques to create an environment accustomed to the complex management of high-risk patients.


"Patients will benefit from UW Health's experience with high-risk patients and our multidisciplinary approach," says Dr. Niloo Edwards, Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UW Hospital and Clinics. "If there are any options out there that will improve their quality of life, we'll find it."


Patients who qualify for transplant will also benefit from a long history of excellence in surgical outcomes. With an 89 percent one-year survival rate, the transplant program compares to an 86 percent survival rate of cases provided to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplant, which represents more than 45 countries worldwide.


Transplant patients also spend an average of ten days at UW Hospital in comparison to more than 29 days at other hospitals, with re-admission rates down 60 percent since 2003.


UW Health transplant cardiologists are available for an immediate consultation at (608) 513-2687 or via the UW Hospital Access Center at (608) 472-0111.