Heart Transplant-when it matters the most

Heart Transplant: Procedure, pre, and post-operative care

A heart transplant is a surgical procedure where an unhealthy heart is transplanted with a healthier heart from a donor. This procedure is performed in an individual who has not recovered after medication or other surgical interventions.

Why heart transplant is performed?

Heart transplantation is done in individuals who have not responded well with other treatments, leading to heart failure. In young people heart failure occurs due to the following reasons:

Heart transplant in children is mostly due to congenital heart anomaly.

How is heart transplant done?

Heart transplant surgery is a very safe surgery. Heart transplant mainly is a combination of three surgeries

  • The first surgery is the extraction of a healthy heart from the donor. Usually, the donors are brain dead with irreversible brain injury. The organ to be transplanted is kept in ice to keep the organs alive. The heart should be transplanted within six hours after its extraction.
  • The second surgery is the removal of the diseased heart from the recipient. If the recipient had the previous history of cardiac surgery it becomes difficult to cut through the scars further complicating the surgery.
  • The third surgery is the implantation of the donor’s heart into the recipient.

Read about: 2o best Cardiac Surgeons in India

Pre-operative care:

Since heart failure is a very common problem in the developed nation getting a donor is still difficult. Once a donor is found the doctors decide if the heart is suitable for you or not. If the heart is not suitable for you then you won’t be able to undergo heart transplant surgery for that heart.

If the heart is suitable then the surgery may last several hours.

Surgical procedure:

If the donor heart is suitable for the recipient then the doctors start with replacing the diseased heart with the donor heart. The diseased heart is removed and the healthy heart is sewed in its place. The new heart is attached to the major blood vessels of the recipient. The new heart often starts to beat with restoration of blood but sometimes electric shock is needed to stimulate the heart to beat properly.

The whole procedure is done under the effects of anesthesia. The patient is connected to the ventilator and heart-lung machine before beginning the surgery, so that the body of the patient is supplied with oxygen-rich blood.

Read about: 2o best Cardiac Surgeons in India

Post-operative care:

After heart transplant surgery the patient is expected to stay in the ICU for the next 1 week followed by a 1-week stay in the hospital for observation. The patient is expected to visit the hospital frequently up to 3-4 months after surgery.

Still following care must be taken:

  • Taking immunosuppressants to prevent the bodies to form antibodies against the donor heart. Though there are many side effects of immunosuppressants still you need to take them indefinitely.
  • After heart transplant surgery it is very necessary to take the medicines as instructed by your doctor.
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthy food
  • Enroll yourself in some cardiac rehabilitation center
  • Avoid stress

Is this surgery safe?

This surgery is very safe but getting a donor is still very difficult. Postoperative complications also need to be considered:

  • Heart attack
  • Infections
  • Rejection of donors heart
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels

When to see a doctor post-operation:

If you experience the following symptoms please contact your doctor:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Less volume of urine
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain


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1 thought on “Heart Transplant-when it matters the most”

  1. Great Job, you have provided great information through this post nowadays heart risks are at its peak for both men and women and quality healthy body plays an important role in having a healthy heart

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