After Your Child's Heart Transplant

New changes to your family's life

Taking a child home after a transplant can be stressful. Your family may feel fear, anger, depression and guilt about the liver transplant. By sharing these feelings, you may find it easier to cope with change. Our team is here to help you in any way that they can.

Talking to your child

Many children believe a heart transplant is caused by something they did, said or thought. Explain to your child that the cause of the heart transplant was not his fault.

Talk to your child about his feelings. Let him know his feelings are normal. Be honest with your child about your feelings.

Medicines after transplant

After a heart transplant, your child will take important medicines called immunosuppressants. They will help keep your child from rejecting his new heart and keep him in the best possible health.

Possible complications after transplant

Some children who receive a pediatric heart transplant have complications. Infection and rejection are two of the most common complications after a pediatric heart transplant. Your child's heart transplant team will help you learn about the early signs of liver transplant complications.

  • Rejection is a natural response of your child's immune system. The immune system is the body's defense against an unknown material such as viruses, bacteria and some types of cancers. Your child's body tries to reject the new heart because it recognizes it as an unknown in the body.
  • Your child is more likely to get an infection when taking immunosuppressants. The risk of infection is greatest in the first three to six months after a heart transplant.