Dell Children’s Heart Failure, VAD and Transplant Program

The Heart Failure, VAD and Transplant Program at Dell Children’s is a subset of The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. We offer the only program in Central Texas providing complete multidisciplinary care for children with complex and progressive heart failure or that need a heart transplant. Led by experts in pediatric transplant cardiology, the heart transplant program offers every aspect of transplantation on-site at Dell Children’s Medical Center. We have a specialized team of physicians dedicated to caring for children undergoing heart transplantation. From the initial evaluation through follow-up care, our expert cardiologists will deliver the full spectrum of transplant care needs for patients, families, and referring providers.

From the routine to the most complex and critical conditions of the heart, the advanced care you need for your child is here at Dell Children’s. Serving 46 counties, Dell Children’s Medical Center has always been a destination for pediatric cardiovascular care for kids. We are a Center of Excellence and we’re the only comprehensive children’s heart center and the only pediatric heart transplant center in Central Texas. Our nationally recognized pediatric cardiovascular team delivers advanced specialty care, including comprehensive surgical care and heart transplants — even for the tiniest of patients.

Caring for children of all ages, newborns to 18 years of age and beyond, our personalized care plans are tailored to the needs of each individual child and their families or caregivers. Care is coordinated with referring physicians and other specialty care team members to ensure that our patients receive the highest level of specialized care and a smooth transition into adult cardiac care.

Types of Patients

We see newborns, children and adults with chronic, end stage cardiac disease who are failing current medical therapy, or for whom no effective medical therapy exists and have been referred by a physician. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • Complex congenital heart disease that is not reversible or can’t be cured by medical therapy
  • Heart failure caused by cardiomyopathy which can be a genetic disease of the heart muscle
  • Restrictive cardiac disease with worsening lung pressures
  • Inotrope, ventilator, or mechanical circulatory support dependent cardiac circulation
  • Prostaglandin dependent cardiac abnormality that is not reversible or can’t be helped by surgery
  • Coronary allograft vasculopathy which is a form of coronary artery disease of the transplanted
  • Cardiac tumors in the heart or heart valves
  • Severe life-threatening heart rhythm disorders with high-risk of sudden cardiac death
  • Other reasons deemed clinically necessary by the heart transplant team

Conditions Treated:

Heart Transplant

Our dedicated clinical experts offer a full spectrum of heart transplant experience not only to pediatric patients but also adults with congenital heart disease. In some cases, the advanced therapeutic options such as heart transplantation. Our clinical care team has the ability to perform transplant procedures across both positive crossmatch and ABO incompatible donors with experience in desensitization protocols.

Cardiomyopathy (Heart muscle disease)

We offer expertise in the clinical care and treatment plans for children and adults who have heart muscle disease that is either primary or acquired. Our care team manages conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, restrictive cardiomyopathy, non-compaction cardiomyopathy, and genetic screening for individuals or their family members who have inherited heart muscle disease. In addition, our clinical experts have specialized training and experience in cardio-oncology as well as other acquired cardiomyopathy such as, cardiomyopathy related to significant renal or hepatic dysfunction.

Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS)

The expert care team at Dell Children’s is highly experienced with all types of Mechanical Circulatory Support for children including devices such as the Berlin Heart® EXCOR. Mechanical Circulatory Support has dramatically improved the management of children with heart failure. Our clinical experts also have the capability to place durable Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) and maintain patients in either the inpatient or outpatient setting on VAD support.

Our Heart Program Clinical Excellence

Our cardiovascular program is Center of Excellence and has a staff of over 150 and still growing to provide world-class quality care to children with heart conditions. Our clinical excellence includes but is not limited to:

  • Fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians in pediatric cardiovascular surgery, pediatric heart transplant surgery, cardiac intensivists, cardiovascular anesthesiology, cardiology and heart failure and transplant.
  • The only onsite Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Central Texas ensures your child has access to the highest-level of emergency care.
  • Level IV NICU onsite ensures your newborn is getting the highest level of possible newborn care.
  • The only pediatric Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program in Austin. ECMO is the use of mechanical devices to temporarily support heart or lung function during cardiopulmonary failure.
  • Support by the largest network of pediatric specialists and specialty programs in Central Texas.
  • Exclusive partnership with Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin to help expand medical and surgical services for pediatric cardiology in Central Texas through education and research.

Partnership with Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin

The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease was created as a collaboration between Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin, Dell Med’s clinical practice. Dell Children’s has entered into an exclusive partnership with Dell Medical School to design, create and expand medical and surgical services for pediatric cardiology in Central Texas, and support education and research around conditions that affect the cardiovascular system. This includes the integration of clinical academics and research-driven initiatives with the medical school. This exclusive alliance helps to deliver the best possible care for pediatric and congenital heart care in the Central Texas community.