Doctor insights on:
Heart Transplant Pros And Cons
Heart transplant: If indicated then a HUGE pro Is that the recipient gets to live! A con is the matter of regular compliance with detailed and meticulous follow up for the rest of your life ...Read more
In medicine: a transfer from one body or body part to another of an organ (liver, heart, lung, kidney, pancreas bowel) or tissue (hand, face, hair). The immune system fights foreign invaders (like infections) so it will reject transplants from other people (allotransplants) because they look like infections. So transplants usually require drugs to ...Read more
Weak heart muscle: If the heart muscle gets very weak for whatever reason, it may not be able to pump the blood adequately. Therefore if the problem is severe enough and does not improve with medication, sometimes they only treatment left is to remove the diseased heart and tranplant a healthy heart. ...Read more
Yes: For people you have the most severely damaged hearts a transplant involves removng the heart and replacing it with a donor heart. Multiple heart attacks, and viral damage to the heart muscle are the most common causes. The supply of donors, usually from severe head trauma is very limited, limiting the number of transplants that can be performed. It is a procedure of last resort. ...Read more
Several steps: Whenever there is a donor organ available. The recipient will need careful evaluation to determine they are suitable candidates based on the cause of end stage heart disease, their co-morbidities (other diseases), their blood and tissue type, their size (for a particular donor heart) and there ability to care for the heart after it is transplanted. ...Read more
Carefully!: Seriously though, the patient is placed on cardiopulmonary bypass, the donor heart is readied, the recipient heart is arrested and removed - usually the back walls of the atria are left behind, that is where the new heart is grafted. Immunosuppressant may be given and the patient is weaned off bypass and the donor heart takes over. ...Read more
When there are proper indications of an absolutely failing heart on major medications, and perhaps with an lvad (left ventricular assist device)in place, a person will be considered and "listed".
The surgery requires heart lung machine support of the recipient while their heart is removed and the donor heart is sewn in place. ...Read more
Relatively easy: Well I never did one, I'm not a surgeon and of course they train for many years. However, it is technically probably easier than some of the other surgery they do as you are sewing fairly large structures together. Working with smaller structures such as a coronary artery would be technically more challenging. Then again, there is a lot more sewing involved with doing the transplant. ...Read more
??: Sorry but I do not understand the question which I guess is why it has not been answered. It can be life saving and obviously is reserved for those with very severe damage to the heart muscle. It is an expensive procedure which perhaps relates to your question. Are you asking the question of whether the money could be put to better use than helping one individual patient at great cost? ...Read more
Age Matched Activity: A transplanted heart that is working well will replace the functions of the failed heart. The recipient can do most things that others his/her age can do. There is something called the transplant olympics, and some recipients perform amazing things; you would be quite surprised at the number that have run marathons. ...Read more
One has to have advanced heart disease, unresponsive to best practices and meds.
May need lvad or support depending on other risks.
Be placed on transplant list- certification, and be high priority compared to others on the list.
Major issue is available donors and best match.
Lots of variables. ...Read more
Most Ages: There is no absolute age. Infants have been successfully transplanted as well as 70 year olds. The largest number of heart recipients in the US are between 35-65 years old. It often depends on the degree of co-morbid (other) diseases. It would be extremely unlikely over age 75. ...Read more
See below: That's not how it works in the U.S. Everyone who needs an organ transplant is pooled together and ranked according to their condition and severity. Then when a match becomes available, they go down the national list. So an organ procured in california may go to someone in ohio. It all depends on your severity and genetic factors. See unos (united network for organ sharing) for details. ...Read more
Immunosuppression: You will need major surgery, and then be treated with immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of your life. While these drugs can prevent rejection of the heart, they make the recipient more vulnerable to infections and some cancers. However, if one is in end stage heart failure there are few alternatives. Even so, there are not enough donor hearts available for all that need one. ...Read more
Living comfortably: For patients that receive a heart transplant, they would not have lived long without one. Recipients have end stage cardiac disease that is progressive and shortens survival. ...Read more
Wrong? To ask: With such a severe shortage of organs, there will always be many deserving patients for each organ. It's impossible to only choose the best candidate for each transplant. Fairness is built into the system by having transparency, an openly agreed upon set of policies that are strictly followed and are often revised, and requiring each txp center to define their own rules. This is done through unos. ...Read more