Everything You Need To Know About Heart Transplant Treatment

Who is a candidate for a heart transplant?

People who have heart failure but they are otherwise healthy, are considered for a heart transplant.

You, your doctor, and your family should consider the following basic questions to determine if a heart transplant is right for you:

  • Have all other treatments been tried?
  • Are you likely to die in the near future without cultivation?
  • Can you stick to the lifestyle changes, in addition to the medication treatments and frequent check-ups required after the transplant?

If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, a heart transplant may not be suitable for you. Also, if you have other medical problems and other severe illnesses such as severe obesity, you probably won't be considered a candidate for a transplant.

What are the risks of a heart transplant?

The causes of death after a heart transplant are infection and rejection.

Patients taking medications to prevent rejection of the new heart are at risk of kidney damage, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, severe thinning of the bones, and lymphoma (a form of cancer that damages immune system cells).

Atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease occurs in about half of patients who receive transplants. Many of them do not show symptoms, such as angina pectoris (chest pain), because there is no new sensation in their hearts.

What is a heart transplant?

In order to perform a heart transplant, a group of cardiologists and nurses review your medical history, diagnostic test results, social history, and psychological test results to see if you can recover from this procedure and follow the ongoing care necessary for a healthy life. After that, you must be placed first on the transplant list.

If you are approved, you must wait until the donor becomes available. Your healthcare team will monitor you to keep your heart failure under control until a donor’s heart is found. The hospital must know where to contact you at all times if a heart is available.

During a heart transplant, machines keep the heart and other organs working. A heart-lung machine is used to support the patient. This machine allows the body to receive oxygen and vital nutrients from the blood even though the heart is running.

What is the process of obtaining a heart from a donor?

You can get a heart from people who have injured their brain in an accident or who have had a major stroke, meaning even though their bodies are kept alive by machines, the brain has no sign of life, if the machines and the drugs stop the heart will stop beating. Often, these accidents happen as a result of a car accident, severe head injury, or gunshot wound.

These patients are always on life support in the intensive care unit and undergo a series of tests to see if their brain is still working. If there is no brain functioning, this is called 'brain death. This means that although the heart is still beating with the help of medicines and machines, there is no possibility to wake them up.

If a person is declared "brain dead", that person's family is contacted to obtain their permission. When permission is obtained, the organ donation process begins.

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Dr. Vijay Kohli
43+ Yrs. Exp.MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Cardiovascular and Thoracic SurgeryCardiothoracic Surgeon
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