Being admitted to the transplant centre

Find out what happens when you arrive at the transplant centre for a heart transplant

Key points

  • If your transplant team accept an offer of a heart for you, you will be asked to come to the transplant centre
  • You will have tests to make sure you’re fit enough for the operation and to check whether you have antibodies against the heart
  • You will be told about any unusual donor-related risks
  • Sometimes there are problems which mean the operation is unable to go ahead

What happens if you receive an offer of a heart?

If a suitable heart is offered to you, your transplant team will call to let you know and to arrange your admission to hospital. If you are already in hospital, you will be told in person. We understand that this is a stressful time. Please ask if you would like someone with you at the transplant centre.

The transplant team will not offer you an organ if they think the risks are greater than the benefits. Discussions about the types of donors you are willing to accept are best had at the time of being put on the transplant wait list.

Learn more about accepting or declining offers

What happens when you arrive at the transplant centre

Reasons why the operation might not be able to go ahead

Sometimes, even if you are willing to accept the heart, the operation cannot go ahead. This might be because:

More information

Medical terms explained


Antibodies are made by your immune system to help recognise and fight against ‘foreign’ substances, such as bacteria and viruses. Certain antibodies in your blood can make it more likely for your body to reject your new heart.


Immunosuppressants are powerful medicines that weaken your immune system to prevent it attacking your new organ.


Rejection is when your immune system starts to attack your transplanted organ because it doesn’t recognise it. 

View all medical terms

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