Background/Purpose: Rodent adult-to-adult heterotopic heart transplantation is a well-established animal model, and the detailed surgical technique with several modifications has been previously described. In immature donor organ transplantation, however, the surgical technique needs to be revised given the smaller size and fragility of the donor graft. Here, we report our surgical technique for heterotopic abdominal (AHTx) and femoral (FHTx) neonatal rat heart transplantation based on an experience of over 300 cases. Methods: Heterotopic heart transplantation was conducted in syngeneic Lewis rats. Neonatal rats (postnatal day 2-4) served as donors. AHTx was performed by utilizing the conventional adult-to-adult transplant method with specific modifications for optimal aortotomy and venous anastomosis. In the FHTx, the donor heart was vascularized by connecting the donor's aorta and pulmonary artery to the recipient's right femoral artery and vein, respectively, in an end-to-end manner. A specifically fashioned butterfly-shaped rubber sheet was used to align the target vessels properly. The transplanted graft was visually assessed for its viability and was accepted as a technical success when the viability met specific criteria. Successfully transplanted grafts were subject to further postoperative evaluation. Forty cases (AHTx and FHTx; n = 20 each) were compared regarding perioperative parameters and outcomes. Results: Both models were technically feasible (success rate: AHTx 75% vs. FHTx 70%) by refining the conventional heterotopic transplant technique. Injury to the fragile donor aorta and congestion of the graft due to suboptimal venous connection were predominant causes of failure, leading to refractory bleeding and poor graft viability. Although the FHTx required significantly longer operation time and graft ischemic time, the in situ graft viabilities were comparable. The FHTx provided better postoperative monitoring as it enabled daily graft palpation and better echocardiographic visualization. Conclusions: We describe detailed surgical techniques for AHTx and FHTx while addressing neonatal donor-specific issues. Following our recommendations potentially reduces the learning curve to achieve reliable and reproducible results with these challenging animal models.