Services & Specialties
Heart Transplant

Leaders in Pediatric Heart Transplant

The Heart Transplant Program, part of the interdisciplinary Heart Institute, is the oldest pediatric heart transplant program in Ohio. We are part of the Heart Institute’s combined program linking cardiomyopathy / heart failure and mechanical circulatory support care.

Our team of cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists, nurse practitioners, and nurses are experts in the treatment of complex heart disease and heart transplantation. We care for infants, children, adolescents, and adults with uncorrectable congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathy, facilitating their candidacy for transplantation, and delivering their post-transplant care.

UNOS Approved

Our heart transplant program is approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and a member of the Ohio Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium. In addition, our transplant team members are participants in the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

U.S. News & World Report
ranks Cincinnati Children’s as the #1 pediatric hospital in the nation in the 2023-24 rankings of the best children's hospitals.

Our Commitment to Quality Care

Our goal is to provide children facing untreatable heart disease the best chance to be active members of their families and communities, and the best chance to grow emotionally and physically with as little limitation as possible. Our areas of emphasis include:

  • Care provided by a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, surgeons, intensive care specialists, nurse practitioners, and nurses.
  • Outcomes-focused clinical care and research to optimize survival and quality of life.
  • Quality initiatives, such as prevention of rejection and use of cutting edge technologies to detect for harmful antibodies and detect for transplant coronary artery disease.

Our clinical team’s extensive experience and our commitment to long-term quality outcomes form the foundation of the Heart Transplant Program.

Here are some of the reasons why our patients choose us for their care:

Experience & Capabilities

  • Our internationally recognized surgeons and specialists have a wealth of training and experience in complex cardiac care including heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation.
  • Our mechanical circulatory support program is internationally recognized and is a leader in the field of supporting patients with ventricular assist devices (VADS).
  • We perform complex multi-organ transplants including heart-lung, heart-kidney, heart-lung-kidney, heart-liver, and heart-lung-liver transplantation.
  • We have the experience and capability of performing and caring for transplant patients from infancy to young adulthood
  • We are leading the way in the use of virtual reality for surgical planning of the most complex repairs
  • Patients and their families can receive emotional support and mental health care through our Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center as they face the challenges before, during, and after transplant surgery.

Outcomes & Success Measures

  • We have performed more the 160 heart transplants in the program’s history.
  • Our program has a 100 percent one-year survival rate for children under 18 years, compared to the national average of 91.4%.
    • Based on 17 patients, performed 7/1/2018 – 3/12/2020 and 6/12/2020 – 12/31/2020, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients January 2022 Report.
  • We use outcomes-focused clinical care and research to optimize survival and quality of life. An example of this is an initiative to prevent transplant complications using cutting edge technologies to detect for harmful antibodies.
  • Our surgical faculty are breaking new ground in transplant research, including a federally funded RO1 grant to improve how pediatric heart and lung transplant donor organs are distributed using an artificial intelligence driven system to optimize matches and significantly improve post-transplant survival.
  • Cincinnati Children’s and Kentucky Children’s Hospital Joint Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program is ranked among the top programs in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report in the 2023-24 list of Best Children’s Hospitals.

Patient Stories

A few of our heart transplant recipients share their inspiring stories. > Patient Stories

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program

Our VAD program uses devices to stabilize patients and support them while they wait for a donor heart (bridge-to-transplant). > VAD Program
Cardiology & Heart Surgery.

Top Ten in the Nation

U.S. News & World Report ranked our Joint Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program, in conjunction with Kentucky Children’s Hospital, as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery.


Heart Encyclopedia

Heart Encyclopedia.
Learn about pediatric heart defects and disorders in our Heart Institute Encyclopedia. Learn More