Heart Transplant

What is Heart Transplant?

A heart transplant, or a cardiac transplant, is a surgical procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease when other medical or surgical treatments have failed. As of 2018, the most common is to take a functioning heart, with or without both lungs, from a recently deceased organ donor (brain death is the standard) and implant it into the patient. The patient’s heart is either removed and replaced with the donor heart (orthotopic procedure) or, much less commonly, the recipient’s diseased heart is left to support the donor’s heart. Dr. Priya Palimkar at Om Heart Care is Providing the Best Heart Transplant in Pune.

    Believe it or not, heart transplantation is a relatively simple operation for a cardiac surgeon. In fact, the procedure actually consists of three operations. The first operation is harvesting the heart from the donor. The donor is usually an unfortunate person who has suffered an irreversible brain injury, called “brain death“. Very often, patients who have had major trauma to the head, for example, in an automobile accident. The victim’s organs, other than the brain, are working well with the help of medications and other “life support“ that may include a respirator or other devices. A team of physicians, nurses, and technicians goes to the hospital of the donor to remove donated organs once the brain death of the donor has been determined.

    The removed organs are transported on ice to keep them alive until they can be implanted. For the heart, this is optimally less than six hours. So, the organs are often flown by airplane or helicopter to the recipient’s hospital.

    Why might I need a heart transplant?

  • You may need a heart transplant if your heart is failing and other treatments are not effective. End-stage heart failure is a disease in which the heart muscle is failing severely in its attempt to pump blood through the body. It means other treatments are no longer working. End-stage heart failure is the final stage of heart failure. Despite its name, a diagnosis of heart failure does not mean the heart is about to stop beating. The term failure means the heart muscle is failing to pump blood normally because it is damaged or very weak, or both.
  • Some causes of heart failure include:
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI)
  • Viral infection of the heart muscle
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart defects present at birth (congenital)
  • Irregular heartbeats ( arrhythmias )
  • High blood pressure in the lungs ( pulmonary hypertension )
  • Alcoholism or drug abuse
  • Chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Heart muscle is enlarged, thick, and stiff ( cardiomyopathy )
  • Low red blood cell count ( anemia )
  • Your healthcare provider may have other reasons to recommend a heart transplant.

    What are the risks of a heart transplant?

  • As with any surgery, complications may occur. Potential risks of a heart transplant may include:
  • Some causes of heart failure include:
  • Infection
  • Bleeding during or after the surgery
  • Blood clots that can cause heart attack, stroke, or lung problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Kidney failure