Children's Hospital Colorado
Heart institute
Heart institute

The Pediatric Heart Transplant Program

If a heart transplant is the only option for your child, we can help make the miracle of transplantation a reality. Our goal is for your child and family to have as normal and healthy a life as possible by treating conditions like hypoplastic left heart syndrome and cardiomyopathy.

Why choose our Pediatric Heart Transplant Program?

The Pediatric Heart Transplant Program at Children's Hospital Colorado is one of the largest in the world and has seen tremendous success since it began in 1990. Our Heart Institute is one of the leaders for babies, kids and teen heart transplants with survival rates among the highest in the nation.

We are one of seven children's hospitals in the U.S. to be recognized for the best pediatric organ transplant outcomes by Becker's Hospital Review. This recognition is given to programs based on how many patients stay alive with a functioning transplant one year after surgery. 

See why our outcomes make us one of the top heart hospitals

Innovation to provide the best care

We’re always researching to find ways to make the transplant process a little easier and less stressful for you and your child. Heart transplant examples include: 

  • Increased chances of getting a heart - We have strategies in place that increase your child’s chance of getting a heart and decrease the precious time you spend waiting. Whenever possible, we also let kids awaiting heart transplantation stay at home, rather than in the hospital. Read how the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) can extend the life of children waiting for a heart transplant.
  • Kid-friendly heart care - Our Program was designed specifically for your child. Heart transplant specialists, including all of our doctors, nurses and technicians are trained in pediatrics and cardiac care. 
  • Minimal use of immunosuppressants medications - Studies have shown that long-term steroid use can cause problems throughout a child's life, including delayed growth, high blood pressure and infection. Immune suppression medications can also cause diabetes, renal failure, and cancer. To limit the effects, we minimize the use of steroids after a heart transplant and adjust medications to the lowest level possible to promote medication compliance and decrease side effects while avoiding rejection. 
  • Less invasive tests and procedures - By monitoring kids through non-invasive tests (like echocardiogram) and doing fewer invasive procedures (like cardiac catheterization) after a transplant, we keep the needle pokes and procedures to a minimum.

Learn how our cardiac anesthesiologists will keep your child comfortable during the transplant.

Faster recovery and return to everyday life

Heart transplant patients leave our hospital within seven to 10 days after the transplant (compared to the national average of up to four weeks). We also help provide emotional support as your child returns to school, sports, extracurricular activities and daily living.

Get answers to questions about a heart transplant, or learn more about your visit to the Heart Institute.

Meet Juniper, our youngest recipient of the Berlin Heart

Related departments

Children's Colorado in the news


Baby Makes History as the First Patient in the Region to Receive Stem-Cell Therapy for HLHS

September 9, 2018

Thanks to a special partnership between Children’s Colorado and Mayo Clinic, baby Calista became the first patient in Colorado to receive regenerative therapy for a rare congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Children’s Colorado is the only hospital in the region offering access to this groundbreaking clinical trial.