HEART

TRANSPLANT

The heart transplant is a Surgical procedure which is done to remove an infected or damaged heart and replace it with a healthy heart of the donor.

Why it is done?

  • If your heart is severely damaged after single or multiple heart attacks.
  • Acute heart attack where surgery, treatments and medicines dont work
  • Congenital heart defects that cannot be repaired with surgery.
  • Irregular heartbeats that do not react to any other treatment or medication.

It must not be done to:

  • a. Age group older than 65 years
  • b. Malnourished people
  • c. Those who had gone through Dementia or severe stroke
  • d. Those who have underwent cancer treatment less than 2 years ago
  • e. Those who have active infections of HIV and Hepatitis
  • f. Those who have insulin dependant diabetes and malfunctioning of Failure of the lungs and kidneys
  • Rejection of the transplanted heart
  • Heart attacks and heart rhythm complications
  • Acute diseases of coronary artery

After the Transplant:

The patient is supposed to stay in the hospital from one to three weeks after the heart transplant is done. For The first 48 hours, the patient is kept in ICU (Intensive care unit). For the first few days after the transplant is performed, the patient is recommended to follow up his cardiologist regularly to make sure that the transplanted heart is working well and is uncontaminated.

It may take 3 months for the recovery but regular check ups, ECGs, and x-rays continues for several years. The anti rejection medications must be taken very carefully in order to sustain the normal condition.

The biopsy of the heart muscle is performed every month for the first six to twelve months and then it becomes less often.

However the the routine physical life may be regained within three to six months, but the patient is recommended not to do vigorous activities. The patient needs to ensure that he doesn't develops coronary disease after the transplant as he goes through cardiac catheterization every year. other organs such as kidney, liver, lungs etc.

g. Those who have no family support or can not continue post sugery treatments and check ups

h. Those who have any other health realated complications

How it is done?

The patient is examined thoroughly by the team of proficient cardiologists and physicians to make sure that he/she is fit enough to undergo transplant. Thereafter the patient is given general anesthesia to undergo a deep sleep. After that, an incision is made through the chestbone to execue the surgery further. Meanwhile the surgeon performs the surgery, a heart-lung bypass machine is used to circulate the blood and oxygen in the patient's body

The infected heart is detached and the healthy heart of the donor is stitched. Thereafter the heart-lung machine is removed and blood starts circulating through the transplanted heart.

Risks:

From Anesthesia-

  • a. Breathing/Respiratory problem
  • b. Allergic reactions to medications

From Surgery

  • a. Blood Loss
  • b. Further Infections

Other risks of transplant includes:

Bruises and damages due to anti-rejection medicines to the important organs of the body such as kidney, lungs and liver and also high cholestrol, weakening of the bones, diabetes, cancer etc due to the same. Blood clots