CHARLOTTE – After more than 35 years since its first life-saving heart transplant, Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute has performed more than 700 heart transplants for patients around the world.
Since its inception, Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute has repeatedly achieved national and regional recognition.
“Our mission is to help people live longer, feel better and have an enjoyable and functional life with family and friends,” said Dr. Sanjeev Gulati, Head of Adult Cardiology and advanced heart failure and transplant physician.
Heart transplant patients are those with advanced heart failure, either severe, acute illness or long-term heart disease. They have reached the point where medical therapy and supporting devices can no longer keep their hearts in good working order and they are at high risk of dying without a heart transplant.
“With a new heart, patients feel better almost immediately, and they continue to improve,” Gulati said. “I tell patients that several months after their transplant, they will feel like a new person. It’s truly amazing to see people go from being bedridden to being active and living a limitless life.
The first heart transplants in Charlotte took place in 1986. This milestone allowed patients to receive complex care locally without having to travel for their care.
Over the years, surgical techniques and medications have continued to advance and improve outcomes for heart transplant recipients. Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute has one of the best one-year survival rates in the country. Sanger has a 97% one-year survival rate after a heart transplant, compared to a national average of 91%.
Once approved for a transplant, each patient meets with a personalized team that assists with screening, medication management, transplant education, as well as a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, to ensure they remain healthy. good physical and mental health after the transplant.
“Surpassing this important milestone of 700 heart transplants, combined with our high survival rate, truly demonstrates the incredible expertise and dedication of the entire multidisciplinary team at Sanger. I am very proud of Dr. Gulati and the entire heart transplant team for the way they ensure that every patient receives some of the best care possible in the country,” said Dr. Geoffrey Rose, Cardiac Business Leader and vascular and president of the institute.
Sanger’s team continues to bring innovative techniques and advances in cardiac care that will continue to benefit many patients, including a new method that can help preserve a donor heart longer outside. from the body.
“We will incorporate a new technique in the coming weeks to increase the number of suitable donor hearts so that hopefully patients will spend less time on the waiting list,” Gulati said. “By better preserving the donor heart, patients will have an even better prognosis after their transplant.
Even with the fact that Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute has now surpassed 700 transplants, the team is deeply invested in each case.
“Each time we do a transplant, it’s like the first time. The feeling is not going away,” Gulati said.