Heart Transplant Patients Enjoying Longer Lives

In 2014, the Cleveland Clinic’s Cardiac Transplant Program marked its 30th anniversary, having performed more than 1,600 heart transplants in that time. About 4,000 heart transplantation procedures are performed annually worldwide. Cleveland Clinic’s program is the fifth largest heart transplant program in the country and the largest in Ohio. The program boasts survival rates of … Read More

How Science is Mending Broken Hearts

Have you ever heard of someone passing away from a “broken heart”? You may have thought it was a myth. But there actually is a medical condition called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle brought on by extreme stress. Takotsubo often goes by the name “broken heart syndrome.” Cardiomyopathies (Greek for “affliction of … Read More

The Amazingly Simple Way Surgeons Make a New Heart Beat (Video)

Cleveland Clinic heart transplant surgeons use the most sophisticated technology in the world, but this amazing video proves we should never underestimate the profound power of human touch. This short video – just 30 seconds – takes you inside a Cleveland Clinic surgical suite. You’ll get a surgeon’s-eye view of a patient’s open chest cavity as … Read More

Artificial Hearts Get Real

Shortly after graduating from Starfleet Academy in 2327, Jean Luc-Picard got into a fight and was stabbed in the heart. The future commanding officer of the Starship Enterprise was rushed into surgery where his native heart was replaced with a totally implantable mechanical heart (in the episode: “Tapestry”). Of course, Jean Luc-Picard is a fictional … Read More

Here Comes Human Heart, 2.1

The human heart changed forever in 1967. It went modular. The development of cardiac transplantation that year meant that hearts could now be switched in and out like flashlight batteries. But that was only the beginning. A whole array of mechanical devices can now be plugged into the heart to keep it going for months, … Read More

February 14 is National Donor Day, Too

Today across the U.S., more than 117,000 people are waiting for that gift of life from an organ donor. Trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss are all reasons why someone may need an organ, tissue or blood donation at some point in their lives. It could happen to any one … Read More

Today’s Artificial Hearts Go With the Flow

Who says a heart has to go “thump”? Why not “whizzz”? A new generation of artificial hearts does just that. Today’s continuous flow ventricular assist devices (or VADs) have emerged as one of the few effective treatments for heart failure. They offer hope to late-stage patients who cannot receive or access a transplantable donor heart. … Read More

Walking With Rowdy Hearts

They were the rowdy bunch in the transplant rehab unit of Cleveland Clinic, loud and laughing, working out together and growing a close friendship that has become contagious now that they’re home with new hearts. The nurses called Frank Bianchi, Holly Mulkerin and a few others, “The Rowdy Heart Waiters,” and the name stuck. Now … Read More

Heart Transplant Recipients Help Others on the Wait List

Holly Mulkerin and Frank Bianchi received heart transplants at Cleveland Clinic a day apart, and they met each other during recovery. During that time, Mulkerin hatched a plan to help others on the list cope with the wait. Now, the two run a volunteer program where they personally call people on Cleveland Clinic’s organ transplant … Read More

Back From the Brink. But Why?

Twenty-three-year-old Michael Crowe was circling the drain. He had toxic blood poisoning and an inflamed myocardium. His heart muscle was shutting down. His Omaha hospital put him on the transplant list. However, even when a heart was found, he was too sick to accept it. Then, all of a sudden Michael started getting better. His … Read More