Heart Failure + Transplant

The Heart Failure and Transplant Programs look after people who have heart failure who have been referred either for help with finding out about and treating heart failure or assessment for heart transplant and care after the transplant.

 

Heart Failure

People are referred to the Heart Function Clinic because they have a condition called “heart failure”. The clinic aims to help you live well with this condition.

‘Heart failure’ is when the heart does not pump as well as it should. Heart failure is quite common as people get older. It is caused by many things, but most commonly caused by high blood pressure or a heart attack.

If you are referred to the Heart Function Clinic, we work with you for about one year. During this time, we will:

  • See you in the Clinic three or four times
  • Do various heart tests
  • Make sure you are on the right medications for you
  • Teach you how to manage your heart failure better at home
  • Regularly update your family doctor on your condition
  • Continue to check on you until things are working well for you

What to bring

  • All your medications with you in a bag so we can see exactly what you’re taking
  • Your medication list, if you have one
  • Your BC Care Card
  • Summary of your medical history, if you have one
  • A list of who your doctors are
  • A record of your weight for the last month (if you have it)
  • A record of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels for the last month (if you have them)
  • A list of any questions you may have

​Disease Information

Heart and Stroke Foundation 

BC's Heart Failure Network 

Patient Information

Heart Function Clinic Information

Contact Information

Heart Function Clinic
5th Floor, 5C,
Providence Building, Room: 5202
Phone: (604) 806-8733
Fax: (604) 806-8763

 

Transplant

St Paul’s Hospital is home to British Columbia’s only heart transplant program.

A heart transplant is when a person’s sick heart is replaced with a healthy one from an organ donor (someone who has died and whose organs have been donated). Organ transplants are only possible because of the gift of an organ from a donor and their family.

People who need a heart transplant have heart failure that is getting worse and no longer treatable in any other way. People are referred to St Paul’s Hospital by their GP or Cardiologist.

Once you have been referred, an appointment will be made for you and you will be seen by the medical team to find out if you are suitable for a heart transplant.

If you are a candidate for a heart transplant you will need to wait for a heart. Sometimes, if you are very sick and think that a heart will not be found soon enough, we will start to talk with you about using a mechanical heart called a ventricular assist device (VAD) to buy you some time while you wait for a heart.

Visit the HeartWare VAD education site to view videos about living with, and caring for a VAD.

What to bring

You will need to bring the following with you to your clinic visits:

  • All your medications with you in a bag so we can see exactly what you’re taking
  • Your medication list, if you have one
  • Your BC Care Card
  • Summary of your medical history, if you have one
  • A list of who your doctors are
  • A record of your weight for the last month (if you have it)
  • A record of your blood pressure and blood sugar levels for the last month (if you have them)
  • A list of questions you may have

Disease Information

Not everyone is suitable for a heart transplant. If there are other things that can be done to help you feel better, they should be done first. If you have a disease or condition that is serious and won’t be helped with the transplant, then it is not the right thing for you. If you have trouble sticking to taking medications or coming to appointments, a heart transplant may not be right for you. Our team works through this with you when the doctors think it’s time to do an assessment.

More information about transplants can be found through BC Transplant and our handout below:

Heart Transplant: A Brief Overview

Living with a Heart Transplant

Contact Information

Pre-Heart Transplant and VAD Clinic
Phone (604) 806-8602
Fax: (604) 806-8763
Post Heart Transplant Clinic
Phone (604) 806-8374
Fax: (604) 806-8763

 

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Clinic

The Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) Clinic is a clinic which combines the expertise of specialists in both cardiology and medical genetics, to identify, screen and manage patients and families affected by HCM.

Who can be referred?

Health care providers (specialists and family doctors) can refer the following patients and/or families to the program:

  • Patients with a suspected or known diagnosis of HCM
  • First degree relatives of the above

Disease Information

HCM is a genetic condition which causes abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. In some patients, this leads to symptoms including shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, light-headedness and fainting. In a minority of cases, sudden cardiac arrest may occur. Early recognition of the disease is very important.

For more information, we recommend the following resource:

Patient Information

You can expect that your appointment will include:

  • Tests to evaluate your heart and its function
  • Assessment and evaluation from a Cardiologist specializing in HCM who will plan with you how to best manage your condition
  • Evaluation of family history for potential inheritance and recommendations for genetic testing from a Genetic Counsellor

What to bring

  • Family History Information
    • Most patients will receive a family history questionnaire at the time their referral is processed. We ask that you try and complete the questionnaire as best you can, and return it to us as soon as possible.
    • We understand that these documents may not be available and/or that this history may be difficult to discuss with family members. Our team will work with whatever information you are able to provide.
  • Genetic testing reports for yourself or other family members
  • A list of your current medications and your BC Care Card
  • Names of additional medical care providers that you see
  • Questions and concerns that you would like addressed by the team

Contact Information

477A - 4th flr, Burrard Building
1081 Burrard St.
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6 
Phone: 604-682-2344 ext. 66772
Fax: 604-806-9927
Referral form