Heart Transplant Surgery at Baptist

Baptist’s heart transplant program is the only Medicare-certified adult heart transplant provider in Memphis. Most insurance companies have named our heart transplant program a Center of Excellence. Our experienced team of cardiologists, nurses and cardiac specialists at the Baptist Heart Institute work together to manage your care at every stage, with the goal of helping you return to a full and productive life.

Heart Transplant

The Heart Transplant Process: A Patient Journey

Referral for Cardiac Transplant

After being referred to Baptist’s Heart Transplant Program, you are carefully evaluated by a multidisciplinary team to ensure that the potential benefits for cardiac transplant outweigh the risks. Physicians who would like to refer a patient for heart transplantation may call our direct referral line at 901-226-3712.

Heart Transplant Wait Time

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) matches transplant recipients with available organs based on location, time spent on the waiting list, blood type, body size and severity of illness. Heart transplant wait times vary but typically last longer than 6 months. When a compatible donor organ becomes available, the transplant coordinator will notify you, and you will be admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.

Donor Evaluation and Procurement

All potential heart donors are assessed carefully. The ultimate decision of suitability is made by the transplant cardiologist and surgeon. While one member of the heart transplant surgery team travels to the donor hospital to procure the heart, the surgeon prepares you for surgery.

Heart Transplant Surgery

One of the most-asked questions by patients and families is: How long does a heart transplant take? The heart transplant procedure typically takes 6 to 8 hours, but heart transplantation can sometimes take longer.


After surgery, you are cared for in the Cardio-Pulmonary Transplant Unit (CPTU) at the Baptist Heart Institute located inside Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. How quickly you recover from your heart transplant procedure depends on many factors, including age, general health and response to the transplant. Most patients are up and about within 48 hours after surgery and home in 10 to 14 days.

Post-Transplant Care

Following heart transplantation, you will receive comprehensive care and support from our experienced team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, case managers, financial coordinators and other clinicians.

  • Each patient participates in a cardiac rehabilitation program to help regain strength of the musculoskeletal system. This begins about two weeks after transplant or discharge.
  • Transplant pharmacists and coordinators educate patients, so they understand their medications and their impact on the immune system.
  • A transplant dietitian works with all patients to assess their nutritional needs.
  • A physical therapist will help develop a sustainable exercise plan to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle.