In February, Ascension Seton was excited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of its heart transplant program in alignment with American Heart Month, which takes place throughout the month of February. Ascension Seton’s Specialty Care and Transplant Center is the only heart transplant center in Austin. 461 patients have received heart transplants at the Ascension Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center since its inception.

“We are thrilled to celebrate 35 years of providing treatment for advanced heart failure using a compassionate, personalized approach for each patient. Heart transplants save lives,” said Dr. Ernest Haeusslein, medical director of the Ascension Seton Heart Specialty Care and Transplant Center. “We are proud to specialize in all stages of congestive heart failure treatment, providing the right care for all patients, close to home in Austin, TX.”

Ascension Seton’s Specialty Care and Transplant Center provides a well coordinated, team approach to heart transplantation, long-term care and follow-up. In addition to transplants, Ascension Seton implants ventricular assist devices (VAD), which may be used as a bridge to transplant, giving patients an opportunity to rehab and feel better while waiting for a transplant. For patients who are not a candidate for a heart transplant because of their age or health, a VAD (or heart pump) is an option as a destination therapy.

The purpose of a ventricular assist device is to improve quality of life, by helping the heart pump blood to the rest of the body. By increasing blood flow to other organs, the function of these organs may improve. The patient who was not considered a transplant candidate before the VAD may become a transplant candidate after implant.

Heart transplants and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ascension Seton has worked closely with Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and other relevant transplant agencies to offer safe, high quality care for transplant patients. Ascension Seton requires COVID-19 testing for donors to ensure the best outcomes for our transplant patients.

Ascension Seton is equipped to safely protect patients from potential exposure to COVID-19 while taking care of their healthcare needs. Separate intake and care areas, waiting room distancing, universal masking, staff screening, ongoing use of personal protective equipment, as well as extensive safety and sanitization protocols, are in place to ensure all patients are cared for in a protected environment. Ascension Seton continuously monitors guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and adjusts safety practices and safeguards accordingly.

Specialty heart care close to home

Seton Heart Institute offers comprehensive and advanced heart care in locations throughout Central Texas. Our providers specialize in advanced cardiac interventions, cutting-edge research, clinical trials, and the latest in cardiovascular technology. A team of specialists includes board-certified, fellowship-trained cardiologists dedicated to providing each patient with personalized, compassionate care.
Specialty care programs and clinics include:

  • Complex disease management, including patients who have had both heart attack and stroke, and cancer patients at risk for developing a heart problem
  • A-fib and other heart rhythm disorders
  • Heart failure management
  • Heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices (VAD)
  • Heart valve care
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Heart disease in women
  • Vascular health, including vein care and peripheral artery disease (PAD)