As the name suggests, a heart transplant surgery is typically performed to replace a damaged heart with a healthy one. Here, the working heart is taken from an ‘organ donor’ who has recently passed on. In some rate cases, the diseased heart is left inside the patient’s body to help support the donated heart.
This procedure is typically recommended as a last resort by our doctors when all other cardia treatments do not contribute towards improving the patient’s health. Common reasons why a cardiac transplant may be recommended are –
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Severe coronary artery disease along with a scarred heart tissue due to a heart attack
- Defects of the heart since birth
Before one reaches the stage of requiring a heart transplant, the best heart surgeons will recommend trying drugs, placing pacemakers or exploring one of the many new surgical therapies. If all else fails, a transplant may be recommended. The doctors will look into the following factors –
- The patient is at risk of dying within the year because of the deteriorating health of his or her heart
- The patient is suffering from end-stage congestive heart failure or serious coronary artery disease
- When no treatment works to cure abnormal heart beats/ rhythms
- Existence of Congenital Heart Disease
Get in touch with the best doctors for heart transplant in India through India Health Help. When you visit them, they will check whether the patient is a suitable candidate for a transplant. Furthermore, finding the right donor is also a critical step to look into pre-surgery.
The donor’s heart is tested for its health. For patients who are waiting for a donor heart, a ventricular assist device will be implanted to stabilize the vital organs. As soon as a donor is identified, the heart needs to be transplanted within 4 to 5 hours of organ removal from the donor’s body. By partnering with the best hospitals for heart transplant surgery we make sure that the logistics of this process are well managed.
Before your surgery, you will be asked to pursue the following tests –
- Liver and kidney function tests
- Tests that help determine whether your body will accept the foreign heart
- Cancer detection test.
The approach opted for in a typical heart replacement surgery varies depending on the condition of the patient and the doctor’s practice. That said, here is a general overview on what one can expect –
- The patient is given general anaesthesia
- An incision is made through the breastbone
- A heart bypass machine bypass machine is used to maintain blood circulation in the body
- The damaged heart is removed from the body and the donor heart is placed and stitched in its proper location
- The donor heart is connected with the relevant blood vessels.
- The new heart starts to beat normally almost immediately.
- The breastbone is then re-joined and the skin on it is stitched back together
- Tubes are inserted for the purpose of draining air, blood and fluid from the area around the heart. This also helps in the full re-expansion of the lungs.
After the procedure, the patient is kept under constant monitoring for about 1 to 2 weeks. After discharge, you will be expected to visit the hospital for follow-up checks and rehabilitation for a few more weeks. During this period, you will be tested through frequent biopsies to make sure that the heart is not rejecting the body.
Furthermore, you will be taught how to take care of your health after discharge. Immunosuppressant medicines are given to patients to prevent rejections. Speak with our representatives to manage the duration of your stay post-op.
RISK AND COMPLICATIONS
Considering how major a typical heart transplant surgery is, it is obvious that it comes with its own set of risks and complications. For instance, in some cases the patient’s body may reject the new heat. Immunosuppressant’s are provided to make sure that the immune system does not attack the heart by recognizing it as a foreign body. In addition to this, other risks include –
- Thickening of the coronary arteries or development of blood clots that result in heart attacks, lung problems or stroke
- Kidney failure due to immunosuppressant’s
- Wound infections
- Problems in breathing
- Lip and skin cancer due to immunosuppressant’s