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Heart Transplant

What is a heart transplant?

A heart transplant is a surgery performed to replace the heart of an individual with a donated heart. The surgery is recommended for people with heart conditions and when they cannot survive without transplantation. It is one of the most difficult operations and the criteria for this surgery are very strict.

Why undergo a heart transplant?

A heart transplant is the last solution for people experiencing end-stage heart failure. It means that the heart is permanently damaged or weakened and is not able to pump sufficient blood throughout the body. There is a variety of reasons behind heart failure and people need treatment under the following conditions:

  • Cardiomyopathy: This condition causes infections and genetic diseases. It causes complete damage to the heart muscle
  • Coronary artery disease: Causes blockages in the arteries and leads to heart attack or heart failure
  • Congenital heart disease: It involves a defect in the heart structure since birth which results in heart failure
  • Valvular heart disease: It causes damage to the heart valves

What happens before a heart transplantation procedure?

The following steps are involved before a heart transplantation procedure:

  • Transplant program referral- Healthcare professionals should refer the patient for this surgery
  • Evaluation for the transplant- Since not enough heart donors are available so the evaluation is done to determine if the patient will benefit from the treatment for long-term
  • Adding to the waiting list- Once the transplant evaluation is done and if the patient is the right candidate, then he/she is added to the list of coordinators for a heart transplant
  • Bridge treatment- It involves therapies and medications including other types of care that can assist the patient while he/she waits for the transplantation. Potential bridge treatments include medications, mechanical support, and a left ventricular device

What happens during a heart transplant procedure?

A heart transplant procedure is a complex operation so the care team ensures the following these steps:

  • Anaesthesia is given to put the patient in deep sleep during the heart transplantation
  • The patient is connected to the ventilation to keep him/her breathing during the surgery
  • Blood thinners are given to prevent blood clots
  • The heart-lung bypass machine is connected so that it takes over the heart function during surgery. It ensures blood circulation throughout the body and adds oxygen to the patient’s blood and removes carbon dioxide.
  • The heart is removed to implant the donor's heart and is attached to the major blood vessels
  • If required, a pacing device might be used which works like a pacemaker, however, doesn’t involve permanent implantation

What happens after a heart transplant surgery?

Once the heart transplantation is done, here is what can be expected:

  • First, the patient is moved to the intensive care unit (ICU) for a day or two. It takes around one to three weeks for complete recovery depending on the situation. The care team observes any bodily signs to determine if the body has accepted or rejected the new heart
  • Before leaving the hospital, the healthcare professional will give the patient a plan of care that has to be followed while recovering at home
  • The doctor might ask the patient to join a cardiac rehabilitation program as it helps in improving heart function, strength, and endurance

It is important to follow the plan of care closely which usually includes:

  • Taking medications on time
  • Making dietary changes such as healthy eating
  • Involving in exercises and other physical activities
  • Determining the infections signs or organ rejection

Why should you choose BM Birla Heart Research Centre for a heart transplantation procedure?

BM Birla Heart Research Centre in Kolkata is one of the best multi-specialty hospitals that specialize in cardiac healthcare services. We have a team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons having years of experience in their field. They are highly talented and skilled with technology. Our team initiates the diagnosis of the condition first so that the best treatment is offered to the patients. They make sure to identify the needs of a patient so that they are fulfilled efficiently.

We are among the NABH-accredited hospitals and have incorporated advanced technological equipment in our hospital to not only offer matchless treatment but also to make the treatments available to every patient. So, if you have any heart condition, make sure to consult us. Further, our team will take care of everything for you.


What is the life expectancy of a patient after a heart transplant?

According to one study, it is found that the patient after a heart transplant can live for around fourteen years. However, it might vary depending on age and other medical conditions.

Can you donate the organ if you have had a transplant?

Yes, it is possible depending on your overall health. You need to consult the doctor for this as there are various factors that should be considered. So, the best way is to get in touch with cardiologists as they can guide you in a better way.


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