Continuing EducationPostoperative Nursing Care of the Cardiac Transplant RecipientWade, Carol R. MS, CRNP; Reith, Kristine K. RN, BSN; Sikora, JoAnn Hoffman MS, CRNP; Augustine, Sharon M. MS, CRNPAuthor Information From the Departments of Heart and Lung Transplantation, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, Md. (Wade, Augustine) Cardiac Surgery, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, Md. (Sikora) Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, University of Maryland Medical System, Baltimore, Md. (Reith) The author has no conflict of interest. Corresponding author: Carol R. Wade, MS, CRNP, Department of Heart and Lung Transplantation, University of Maryland Medical System, 22 S Greene St, Baltimore, MD 21201 (e-mail: [email protected]). Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: January 2004 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 17-30 Buy Abstract While considerable progress is being made in the medical management of heart failure, mortality for this disease process continues to be significant. Cardiac transplantation becomes the treatment of choice for those with end-stage diseases that are acceptable candidates. While care of the cardiac transplant patient is similar to those recovering from cardiopulmonary bypass after sternotomy, there are several issues unique to the cardiac transplant recipient. These include cardiac denervation, allograft dysfunction, management of arrhythmias, rejection, immunosuppression, and infectious complications. This article provides an overview of the postoperative management of the cardiac transplant recipient while in the intensive care unit. Additionally, a brief description of the surgical techniques employed and the physiology related to cardiac denervation are presented. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.