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Overview

Heart Transplant: Procedure, Recovery, Cost, Risk & Complication

A heart transplant is a surgical procedure where a failing or diseased heart is replaced with a healthier heart. This treatment is usually recommended to patients whose conditions have failed to show any improvement even after medications and other surgeries. In most cases, a brain-dead patient is considered as a donor for a heart transplant.

Before a heart transplant, an assessment will be done for checking whether you are suitable for a heart transplant. You would be then put in the waiting list, where you have to wait till the time you get a suitable donor. It may take a few days to get a donor, but in some cases it may even take months or years.

Indication

A patient may need a heart transplant in the following conditions:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathy, a condition where your heart muscles get weakened
  • Heart valve disease
  • Congenital heart defect (problem in the structure of the heart from birth)
  • Abnormal rhythms of the heart that keep recurring and cannot be controlled by medications
  • Amyloidosis (deposit of abnormal proteins in organs and body tissues)
  • A previous heart transplant that has failed

Pre Procedure

The pre-procedure guidelines before undergoing a heart transplant are:

  • First and foremost, you will be evaluated to check for certain conditions like if you are healthy enough for undergoing the surgery and the lifelong medications that you need to take post-surgery.
  • While you will be put on the waiting list for a suitable heart donor, make sure that you are nearby as you can get a call any moment. You will be informed once the donor heart is available and you need to come to the hospital immediately.
  • Timing is an important factor here as the donor heart can survive only for 4-6 hours after taken out from the body.
  • Once you arrive at the hospital, you will be administered the pre-operative medicines and prepared for the surgery. The chest area will be shaved, and rubbed with an antiseptic lotion. The IV line will be started, for administering the anaesthesia.

During Procedure

Heart transplant surgery is basically an open heart surgery that may take several hours. General anaesthesia will be administered in this procedure. You will be connected with a heart-lung bypass machine to ensure there is proper blood flow during the whole operation. The surgeon first makes an incision in the chest, and opens the rib cage to get access to your heart. The diseased heart is then removed and the donor heart will be placed in its place. The surgeon will then attach the major blood vessels to the donor heart. Once the blood flow gets restored, the heart starts beating again. In some cases, an electric shock needs to be given for the heart to start beating properly.

Post Procedure

Post surgery, you will be shifted to the ICU where you have to stay for a few days. During this time, you will be closely monitored by the doctors to see how the donor heart is functioning, or watch out for any symptoms of rejection like fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. You will be given medications for your pain. There would also be drainage tubes fitted so that the excess fluid can be removed from the chest cavity. Generally, you will have to spend 1-2 weeks at the hospital, although it depends on your rate of recovery.

There will be several follow-up tests and appointments with the doctor in the initial months. In the first few months after a heart transplant, you will also have to undergo biopsy test at regular intervals so that the doctor can analyse if your body is rejecting the donor heart or not.

Risk & Complication

The possible risks or complications of a heart transplant may include:

  • Bleeding or infection from the incision site
  • Formation of blood clots
  • A sudden stroke
  • Rejection of the donor heart by your body
  • Problems in the coronary arteries, where the walls of the arteries may thicken or harden, leading to heart failure or irregular heart rhythms
  • The medications that you have to take for the rest of your life can lead to health issues like high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney damage or osteoporosis. The medicines can also increase your risk of cancer and infection, as it decreases the ability of your body to treat infections.

More Info

There will be several adjustments that you will need to make in your lifestyle after a heart transplant. There will be some medicines that you have to take for the rest of your life, which may make you more vulnerable to infection and develop health conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. Gradually, the dosage might decrease depending on your condition. Ensure that all the medications are taken regularly. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding tobacco products are the basic changes that needs to be made in your daily life. Your doctor may also suggest a cardiac rehabilitation programme for you, involving exercising and diet guidelines to recover better after a transplant.

The cost of a heart transplant would be approximately Rs. 15 lakhs – Rs. 20 lakhs.

Popular Health Tips

Heart Transplant - What To Expect Post Procedure?

Maxcure Hospitals 85% (10 ratings)
Multi-Speciality Clinic
Cardiologist, Hyderabad
Heart Transplant - What To Expect Post Procedure?
A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. Heart transplant is a treatment that's usually reserved for people who have tried medications or other surgeries, but their conditions haven't sufficiently improved. While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good, with appropriate follow-up care. When faced with a decision about having a heart transplant, know what to expect of the heart transplant process, the surgery itself, potential risks and follow-up care. Why it's done Heart transplants are performed when other treatments for heart problems haven't worked, leading to heart failure. In adults, heart failure can be caused by several conditions, including: A weakening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) Coronary artery disease Heart valve disease A heart problem you're born with (congenital heart defect) Dangerous recurring abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmias) not controlled by other treatments Amyloidosis Failure of a previous heart transplant In children, heart failure is most often caused by either a congenital heart defect or a cardiomyopathy. Another organ transplant may be performed at the same time as a heart transplant (multiorgan transplant) in people with certain conditions at select medical centers. Multiorgan transplants include: Heart-kidney transplant. This procedure may be an option for some people with kidney failure in addition to heart failure. Heart-liver transplant. This procedure may be an option for people with certain liver and heart conditions. Heart-lung transplant. Rarely, doctors may suggest this procedure for some people with severe lung and heart diseases, if the conditions aren't able to be treated by only a heart transplant or lung transplant. Factors that may affect your eligibility for a heart transplant A heart transplant isn't the right treatment for everyone. Certain factors may mean you're not a good candidate for a heart transplant. While each case is considered individually by a transplant center, a heart transplant may not be appropriate if you: Are an advanced age that would interfere with the ability to recover from transplant surgery Have another medical condition that could shorten your life, regardless of receiving a donor heart, such as a serious kidney, liver or lung disease Have an active infection Have a recent personal medical history of cancer Are unwilling or unable to make lifestyle changes necessary to keep your donor heart healthy, such as not drinking alcohol or not smoking What happens after the transplant? Most people leave hospital within about four weeks of the operation, but depending on your condition, you may need to stay in hospital for longer. In the first few months after your surgery you will need to spend a lot of time visiting the hospital you might even need to stay near the transplant centre. Your transplant team will talk to you about practical arrangements for after your surgery. Although you will be weak after the operation, recovery can be very quick. It is important to build up your level of activity gradually. You should avoid activities involving lifting and pushing until your breastbone is fully healed, which can take up to three or four months. Once you feel fit and able, you can start doing things like light vacuuming or light gardening.
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ECMO - Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

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What Other Than a Ventilator?

How To Prepare Yourself for Heart Transplantation?

Dr. Anil Dhall 86% (16 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Cardiologist, Delhi
How To Prepare Yourself for Heart Transplantation?
A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. Heart transplant is a treatment that's usually reserved for people who have tried medications or other surgeries, but their conditions haven't sufficiently improved. While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good, with appropriate follow-up care. When faced with a decision about having a heart transplant, know what to expect of the heart transplant process, the surgery itself, potential risks and follow-up care. Why it's done Heart transplants are performed when other treatments for heart problems haven't worked, leading to heart failure. In adults, heart failure can be caused by several conditions, including: A weakening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) Coronary artery disease Heart valve disease A heart problem you're born with (congenital heart defect) Dangerous recurring abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmias) not controlled by other treatments Amyloidosis Failure of a previous heart transplant In children, heart failure is most often caused by either a congenital heart defect or a cardiomyopathy. Another organ transplant may be performed at the same time as a heart transplant (multiorgan transplant) in people with certain conditions at select medical centers. Multiorgan transplants include: Heart-kidney transplant. This procedure may be an option for some people with kidney failure in addition to heart failure. Heart-liver transplant. This procedure may be an option for people with certain liver and heart conditions. Heart-lung transplant. Rarely, doctors may suggest this procedure for some people with severe lung and heart diseases, if the conditions aren't able to be treated by only a heart transplant or lung transplant. Factors that may affect your eligibility for a heart transplant A heart transplant isn't the right treatment for everyone. Certain factors may mean you're not a good candidate for a heart transplant. While each case is considered individually by a transplant center, a heart transplant may not be appropriate if you: Are an advanced age that would interfere with the ability to recover from transplant surgery Have another medical condition that could shorten your life, regardless of receiving a donor heart, such as a serious kidney, liver or lung disease Have an active infection Have a recent personal medical history of cancer Are unwilling or unable to make lifestyle changes necessary to keep your donor heart healthy, such as not drinking alcohol or not smoking What happens after the transplant? Most people leave hospital within about four weeks of the operation, but depending on your condition, you may need to stay in hospital for longer. In the first few months after your surgery you will need to spend a lot of time visiting the hospital you might even need to stay near the transplant centre. Your transplant team will talk to you about practical arrangements for after your surgery. Although you will be weak after the operation, recovery can be very quick. It is important to build up your level of activity gradually. You should avoid activities involving lifting and pushing until your breastbone is fully healed, which can take up to three or four months. Once you feel fit and able, you can start doing things like light vacuuming or light gardening.
3143 people found this helpful

Heart Transplant - When Is It That You Have To Go For It?

Dr. Kewal Krishan 85% (10 ratings)
MCH DNB (CTVS), Advanced fellowship, MS
Cardiologist, Delhi
Heart Transplant - When Is It That You Have To Go For It?
There are many people worldwide who suffer from heart problems (irrespective of their age and sex). While in most cases, the condition improves with proper treatment and medications, in few, the condition is beyond treatment. A heart transplant comes as a savior for such people. It gives them a new lease of life. The transplant involves replacing a heart that has stopped functioning normally (damaged or may be diseased) with a healthy heart (from the donor). Over the years, heart transplant has undergone a sea of change. With the advancement of science and technology, the success rate in a heart transplant has seen an exponential rise. People who need a heart transplant: A heart transplant may be essential in the following cases. A congenital heart disorder (a person born with a heart problem). Defective or diseased heart valves. Amyloidosis (a condition where amyloid fibrils get deposed in the tissues and organs of the body intracellularly or extracellularly). Problems in the coronary artery. Cardiomyopathy (A condition where the muscles of the heart become weak, thereby affecting the normal functioning of the heart). A heart transplant that failed previously. Ventricular Arrhythmias (a condition that originates in the ventricles, in ventricular arrhythmias, the heart rhythms are abnormally rapid). However, under the following circumstances, a heart transplant may not be a wise idea People with infections or chronic lung or kidney disorders. A case of cancer in the past. Age may be a deciding factor.The recovery from a heart transplant may not be 100% in an aged person. The heart transplant procedure: The first step in heart transplant is the availability of a suitable donor. In this case, a donor is a person whose brain is dead but the other organs, including the heart, is healthy and functioning properly. A surgeon performs three operations in a heart transplant. The first operation is essentially the removal of the healthy heart from the donor body. The heart is kept in a cool place, preferably ice (to keep the heart alive and in good condition until the heart transplant takes place). In the second operation, the recipient's damaged or diseased heart is operated out.The situation may, however, be complicated if the patient had a heart surgery in the past. The third and the final surgery involves implanting the donor heart into the recipient body (the recipient's upper heart chambers and the atrial back wall are however not removed). Once the implantation takes place (without any complications), the surgeons sew the heart into place. The blood vessels are then connected back to the heart and the lungs. The heart starts beating again once it is warmed up. To enable the patient to receive the nutrients and oxygen (during the heart transplant), the patient is put on a heart-lung machine. If no complications develop after the transplant, the patient is discharged within a fortnight. In some unfortunate cases, there may be organ rejection. The condition arises when the recipient's immune cells see the transplanted heart as non-self (foreign agents). If left unattended, it may damage the heart. Immunosuppressant drugs can help avert the rejection. However, it is important to monitor the patient closely for any infections that may arise to the administration of the immunosuppressants.
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Heart Transplant - When to Go For it?

Dr. Manan H. Desai 90% (209 ratings)
M.Ch. CVTS
Cardiologist, Ahmedabad
Heart Transplant - When to Go For it?
A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. Heart transplant is a treatment that's usually reserved for people who have tried medications or other surgeries, but their conditions haven't sufficiently improved. While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good, with appropriate follow-up care. When faced with a decision about having a heart transplant, know what to expect of the heart transplant process, the surgery itself, potential risks and follow-up care. Why it's done Heart transplants are performed when other treatments for heart problems haven't worked, leading to heart failure. In adults, heart failure can be caused by several conditions, including: A weakening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy) Coronary artery disease Heart valve disease A heart problem you're born with (congenital heart defect) Dangerous recurring abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmias) not controlled by other treatments Amyloidosis Failure of a previous heart transplant In children, heart failure is most often caused by either a congenital heart defect or a cardiomyopathy. Another organ transplant may be performed at the same time as a heart transplant (multiorgan transplant) in people with certain conditions at select medical centers. Multiorgan transplants include: Heart-kidney transplant. This procedure may be an option for some people with kidney failure in addition to heart failure. Heart-liver transplant. This procedure may be an option for people with certain liver and heart conditions. Heart-lung transplant. Rarely, doctors may suggest this procedure for some people with severe lung and heart diseases, if the conditions aren't able to be treated by only a heart transplant or lung transplant. Factors that may affect your eligibility for a heart transplant A heart transplant isn't the right treatment for everyone. Certain factors may mean you're not a good candidate for a heart transplant. While each case is considered individually by a transplant center, a heart transplant may not be appropriate if you: Are an advanced age that would interfere with the ability to recover from transplant surgery Have another medical condition that could shorten your life, regardless of receiving a donor heart, such as a serious kidney, liver or lung disease Have an active infection Have a recent personal medical history of cancer Are unwilling or unable to make lifestyle changes necessary to keep your donor heart healthy, such as not drinking alcohol or not smoking What happens after the transplant? Most people leave hospital within about four weeks of the operation, but depending on your condition, you may need to stay in hospital for longer. In the first few months after your surgery you will need to spend a lot of time visiting the hospital you might even need to stay near the transplant centre. Your transplant team will talk to you about practical arrangements for after your surgery. Although you will be weak after the operation, recovery can be very quick. It is important to build up your level of activity gradually. You should avoid activities involving lifting and pushing until your breastbone is fully healed, which can take up to three or four months. Once you feel fit and able, you can start doing things like light vacuuming or light gardening.
2797 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I Have Hair Loss Problem. Some part of my sides gone already. But only sides gone. Not completely. Do I have to go for Hair transplantation or any treatment is enough for me? Please Suggest me. Thank U.

Dr. Kinjal Bhayani 95% (205 ratings)
FMC (Fellow in Med.Cosmetology), BHMS, csd
Aesthetic Medicine Specialist, Rajkot
We have hair local application Vitalisers Good medicines Shampoo oil Laser sittings PRP treatment etc Hair fall occurs due to poor nutrition Stress Bad quility or very strong chemical shampoo Prolong medications Hair colouring or ironing or rebonding like procedures Constantly changing shampoo and oil Generally hair fall seen more in winter due to dryness of skin So treatment is according to cause But some general tips to regrow your hair Apply hair oil and shampoo twice a week Drink 10-15 glass of water daily Drink coconut water Take rich diet cereals dates carrot beetroot milk green vegetables as much as possible abha arc of life

My father is suffering from lv systolic dysfunction with lved =20% and he is also diabetic patient since 17 years and endocrinologist has recommended insulin injections for him as his hb1ac is 12.5 but my father body is not absorbing insulin as there is no decrease in his sugar levels as even after taking insulin injections his sugar level remains between 270 to 330. The insulin injections prescribed by doctor are lantus 12 units at night after dinner and lispro 10 units each 3 times a day. So I want to know that is not there any oral medicine through which my father sugar can be controlled considering his heart disease as there is no effect of insulin on his body.

Dr. Col V C Goyal 94% (8917 ratings)
CCEBDM, PG Diploma In Clinical cardiology, MBBS
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Write details of medicine he is taking.in te mean time do 1.no alcohol 2. Reduce body wt if over wt 3. No smoking/ tobacco 4. Diet - no ghee/ butter, have mix of vegetable oils - mustard, til, ground nut, olive oil, have more green vegetables and fruits, have whole grain atta, no fried. Fast. Spicy / processed/ junk food. No sugar, potato, rice 5. 30 mts walk daily 6. Deep breathing exercise for 10 mts daily 7. Meditation daily for 10 mts. 6-8 hrs of sleep at night 8. Expose your body to sun for 15-20 mts daily after some oil massage to get vit d. 9. Take more water- proper hydration 10 laugh for 2 mts good luck methi seeds – 15-90 gm /day reduces glucose and cholesterol level. Oats Soya beans 25 gm /day, isabgol daily for open question for medicine 3 days diet plan contact on private chat.

I have taken science ayurveda weight gain tablet for 1 year later I came to know that the medicine contains steroids. Now after stopped taking that medicine I am suffering from liver and heart and urine problem. So please anyone tell me what to do now. How can I over come these side-effects and how to flush out steroid from my body.

Dr. G.R. Agrawal 96% (18734 ratings)
DHMS (Hons.)
Homeopath, Patna
Hello, Tk, plenty of water to hydrate your body to eliminate toxins. Go for meditation to reduce your stress to nourish your body including liver, heart & kidneys. Your diet be easily digestible on time to check gastric disorder. Tk, apples, carrots, potatoes, sweet-potatoes, spinach, pumpkins seeds, almonds. Go for aerobics. Tk homoeopathic medicine:@ AshwagandhaQ -10 drops, thrice with little water. Avoid, junkfood, alcohol and Nicotine. Tk, care.

Just few hairs to transplant how much it costs Please reply obly some hair front of head.

Dr. Jain Vicky 89% (15 ratings)
MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Mumbai
Hello lybrate-user You are very young for a hair transplant surgery You need to wait and treat yourself with medical treatment Hope this advice will help you.
3 people found this helpful

I have sexual problem, when I intercourse my ejaculation is very soon about 30 second, I join with my wife after every 15 days most often. How should I do to solve my problems.

Dr. Bhagyesh Patel 96% (5161 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, FMAS.Laparoscopy
General Surgeon, Gandhinagar
Hello dear Lybrate user, Warm welcome to Lybrate.com I have evaluated your query thoroughly. Here are some best working tips for your query. Do not opt for fake advertisements claiming capsules and tablets for penile strength, prolonging sex & making patients fool. Certain molecules which are having results are also not without side effects some of which are very serious as chest pain, heart rate disturbances or else ; so without consultation of urologist, not advisable to consume. Provide enough time in foreplay, after play. Consume plenty of liquids. Balanced nutritious diet intake with enough iron, vitamins,minerals, proteins.Regular walking in fresh air, exercises,relaxation techniques, YOGA help great in creating self confidence. Avoid stress, anxiety.Manage to have regular sound sleep of 8 hours. Cut off use of mobile, internet in bedroom. Discuss with the partner regarding her likes and dislikes with love. Keep your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, body weight under control. Avoid smoking, alcohol if consuming. Consider sex as an art rather than just act of finishing ejaculation. Plan sudden surprises as uninformed leave from job coming home, candle light dinner, surprise gift, outing,variations in sex acts which matters a lot. Consult later your urologist as per the requirement. Hope this clears your query. Wishing you best sex life ahead. Welcome for any further assistance.

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