About the Heart Transplant Program

The Heart Transplant Program at Seattle Children's Hospital provides compassionate, state-of-the-art care to children who have heart disorders. We have the technology and expertise to treat even the most complex heart problems.

We treat infants, children, teens and young adults from birth through age 21 for congenital heart defects, heart disease and heart failure in our Heart Transplant Clinic.

We've been performing heart transplantation surgeries at Seattle Children's since 1994, and our outcomes are among the best in the nation. Our team has performed more than 150 pediatric heart transplants. Our program has been named a Center of Excellence by Optum's Clinical Sciences Institute for 2016.

For children with heart failure, we provide care before, during and after heart transplant.

Our Team

Our heart transplant team is led by Drs. Michael McMullan and Yuk Law. We are dedicated to helping your whole family return to an active, normal life.

Advancing Treatment for Children

Seattle Children's has a long history of advancing treatment for children who have heart failure. Our heart transplant program was the first and remains the only program in our region to offer innovative treatments that include:

  • Ventricular assist devices (VAD) that allow children to wait until transplants become available
  • ABO blood group-mismatched transplants so babies don't have to wait as long for a transplant
  • Catheterization intervention combined with surgical techniques to help improve the health of children who have heart failure, whether or not they need a transplant later
  • Surgical techniques that use state-of-the art tissue typing, blood banking and immunological treatment so children who otherwise would not qualify for a heart transplant can undergo successful transplantation
  • Two-ventricle pacing devices that treat heart failure by improving the performance of a child's heart
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program for children that provides life support when a child's heart or lungs are not working properly or need a rest

What is a heart transplant?

A heart transplant is the process of removing a diseased heart and replacing it with a healthy heart from a deceased donor. This is a treatment option for children who have heart defects or diseases that cause heart failure - a condition that can't be treated by medications or any other type of surgery. The transplant process requires extensive preparation and lifelong follow-up care.

Illnesses that may lead to heart transplant in children include:

  • Complex congenital heart disease, a heart problem that is present from birth
  • Cardiomyopathy, a disorder of the heart muscle that prevents it from squeezing properly

Several other heart diseases can cause heart failure.

How does the transplant process work?

One way that Children's supports your child and family through this challenging time is by helping you understand as much as possible about the transplant process. Learn what to expect if your child needs a heart transplant.