What is a Heart Transplant?
A heart transplant is a surgical procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure of severe coronary disorders by replacing the defective heart with a healthy heart through an allograft (deceased donor) and is the last resort to restore normal coronary functions in the person after all other non-surgical and alternate procedures have been unsuccessful.
Also known as a ‘cardiac transplant’ this is a major type of surgery and is either performed as an orthotopic procedure (removal of defective heart) or as an heterotopic procedure (retaining the partially defective heart as well) in cases where the defective heart still retains certain coronary functions.
Who might need a Heart Transplant?
A heart transplant is needed by a person when their heart is no longer working effectively which in turn puts their life at potential risk.
A heart transplant is commonly recommended for a person:
- Who has severe heart failure in which the heart is unable to pump blood adequately to the different parts of the body
- Who is at a risk of dying within a year without a transplant
- Who has not experienced relief from other conventional form of heart treatments
A heart transplant is also needed in younger children and infants with congenital heart defects (coronary birth defects).
When is a Heart Transplant needed?
A heart transplant is basically needed when a person suffering from severe coronary (heart) disorders have failed to respond to other conventional non-surgical and surgical procedures. A person needs to have a heart transplant when the risk of heart failure gets extremely high.
Adults require a heart transplant when:
- Coronary (heart) diseases are persistent
- Cardiomyopathy or the weakening of the heart muscles is seen
- Valvular heart disease is seen
- Congenital (birth defects) heart defects get worse
- Previous heart transplant is unsuccessful
Children mostly require a heart transplant when they suffer from either weakened heart muscles (cardiomyopathy) or congenital (birth) heart disorder.
How do I know if I am eligible for a Heart Transplant?
The heart transplant procedure is one of the most major types of surgery and is not recommended for just anyone with a heart (coronary) disorder. There are certain factors that are taken into account by the cardio specialists and cardiac surgeons to determine if you are eligible for a heart transplant procedure.
These factors decide the eligibility for a person to have a heart transplant:
- Under 65 years of age
- Do not have any other life-threatening condition
- Do not have any other peripheral artery diseases that causes major blockage in the arteries of the arms and legs
- Do not have a personal medical history of any type of cancer
- If you are ready to make the required lifestyle changes to keep the donor heart healthy such as quitting smoking and alcohol
What is life like after a Heart Transplant?
After the surgery the doctor might suggest at least 1-2 weeks of hospital stay to monitor you for signs of any complications that may arise due to the heart transplant. The doctor or cardiologist will perform regular tests such as blood tests, echocardiograms, lung function tests, electrocardiograms and heart biopsies (if needed) to check for possible complications.
It may take a few months for you to recover from the effects of a heart transplant and will require regular check up regimen to be followed with your cardiologist or doctor at the transplant center.
A heart transplant will require you to quit smoking and abstain from alcohol consumption if you are in the habit of.
The following are the few adjustments you will need to make following a heart transplant procedure to make it successful:
When a foreign body is introduced into your body the immune system automatically detects it as such and tries to reject it. This may also occur for your transplanted heart as it comes from a donor. Immunosuppressants are medications that prevent suppress (prevent) your body’s immune system from attacking your transplanted heart.
These medicines may have certain significant side effects. If taken with post-transplant corticosteroids you may experience an overall swelling in the face as well as weight gain. You may also develop acne and facial hair in some cases due to the immunosuppressants. Most of these side effects are more prominent in the beginning but gradually decrease in severity later on.
As these immunosuppressants basically decrease the immune ability of the body the doctor will also prescribe antibiotics to fight against infections.
Managing therapies and medications
It is important to follow each every instructions given by your doctor regarding medications and therapies after a heart transplant for it have maximum success.
The doctor will suggest a few changes regarding your diet and exercise after a heart transplant procedure and cardiac rehabilitation programs are most effective in helping you regain your strength and health as well as improve your life quality.
Why choose Travcure for a Heart Transplant?
Travcure Medical Tourism Consultants are one of the topmost medical tourism consultants with a wide range of services to offer. Travcure is well connected to the vast network of cardio-specialist hospitals and clinics in all major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, etc that boast of the most modern and latest medical technology as well as have the most experienced and extensively trained cardiac specialist doctors and surgeons
. Travcure provides global quality services at the lowest cost to all their patients.