Heart and Vascular Health

Central Texas Leaders in Heart Transplant and VAD

Our Ascension Seton heart failure specialists and cardiac transplant program deliver a full spectrum of care in Austin, Texas.

Seton Cardiac Transplant Program

Ascension Texas heart specialists have options for patients with all types of heart failure. We have a network of experienced cardiologists and heart surgeons specializing in all stages of congestive heart failure, including heart transplant surgery and ventricular assist devices (VAD).

For more information on our cardiac transplant and VAD services, please call 512-681-0500.

A Regional Heart Transplant Program

The Ascension Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center team has a long history of delivering exceptional heart care. Our cardiac transplant team has been restoring heart function and quality of life for patients with advanced heart failure for many years. As importantly, we do it with a personalized and compassionate approach.

Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin has maintained its Heart Transplant certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services since 1986. Additionally, maintaining a Joint Commission certification for a Destination Therapy Ventricular Assist Device Program since 2011.

Our care team works together to determine the right treatment for you.

Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

Cardiac transplant is the gold-standard treatment for advanced heart failure. A ventricular assist device (VAD) may be used as a bridge to transplant giving patients an opportunity to rehab and feel better while waiting for a transplant. More people are waiting for heart transplants than there are available hearts. Some patients are not a candidate for a heart transplant because of their age, health habits or their current health. For these patients, a VAD (or heart pump) is an option as a destination therapy.

The purpose of a ventricular assist device is to improve quality of life, by helping the heart pump blood to the rest of the body. By increasing blood flow to other organs, the function of these organs may improve. The patient who was not considered a transplant candidate before the VAD may become a transplant candidate after implant.

Evaluation Process

To make sure a heart transplant or ventricular assist device (VAD) is the optimum treatment for you, the transplant team must complete an evaluation process, including:

  • Testing
  • Procedures
  • Appointments with the doctors and transplant team
  • A review of your case by our selection committee

The evaluation process can be very stressful for patients and family members, which is why an RN coordinator will be assigned to help guide you through each step. The transplant and VAD team members will work together with you to determine the right treatment for you:

  • Continued medical management for heart failure
  • Ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation
  • VAD as a bridge to cardiac transplant
  • Cardiac transplant

Our Ascension care team listens to understand your health concerns, and takes the time to educate you about the care options so that you can make an informed decision. Your coordinator and doctor will help you with the next step.

Continued Medical Management

Some patients are not a candidate for a heart transplant or VAD. In this situation, we provide continued medical management and support from our team.

Transplant Care Team

The care team represents members of all specialties to maximize your quality of life and establish goals of care.

  • Advanced heart failure specialists
  • Cardiac transplant surgeons
  • RN advanced heart failure, transplant, and VAD coordinators
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Palliative care for pain, symptom management, and setting goals of care
  • Pharmacists specializing in heart failure medication management and education
  • Social services
  • Financial consultation
  • Psychologists

New Pulmonary Hypertension Program

At the Ascension Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center, our Pulmonary Hypertension Program provides specialized care for patients with high blood pressure in the lungs. This condition can contribute to heart failure.

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