What are the risks of having a human heart transplant?

Benefits vs. risks. Someone that needs a heart transplant is likely to die without one within 12 months. In average, heart transplant recipients live fruitfully for ~ 13 years. Anti-rejection medications used to keep the transplant going, can cause over long term a variety of side effects that need to be prevented or managed (high bp, diabetes, cancer, infections, etc.).
Surgical, medical. The operative risk of the procedure, then the long term risk of infection and rejection.

Related Questions

What are the risks of getting a heart transplant?

Various types. A heart transplant procedure has technical risks, just like any operation. Will the new heart fit? Start working? Will there be bleeding? After the operation, there are risks of infection, problems with the immunosuppressive medications, etc. Don't let these risks overly frighten you. The excellent statistics you are told about include all of these problems taking place, which is not too often. Read more...

What are the risks and benefits of stenting diseased blood vessels / heart bypass surgery / heart transplant / artificial heart valve transplant?

Way too complex. This question is way to complex for a short text Q&A. Individual patient information is needed to really discuss risks and benefits. This discussion needs to be with a live cardiologist and/or cardiac surgeon. Read more...

What are some of the benefits of a human heart transplant?

Great benefit. Pts who are successfully transplanted have improved survival rates and less frquent admission to hospital for heart failure. Read more...
Live longer. Heart transplantation is reserved for end stage heart failure where the quality of life is poor (patients have symptoms with minimal exertion or at rest) and death is imminent (usually one year survival less than 50%). A new heart gives patients an excellent quality of life and longevity (average person survives ~ 12 years after a transplant, with some surviving close to 20 years). Read more...

Why is heart transplant difficult?

Donor shortage. Heart failure patients are waiting many months for a matching donor heart after being listed as a suitable candidate. Read more...
Medical Complexity. In order for the best results to help the most needy patients, selection of both donor hearts and recipients with end stage cardiac disease is complex. It is also essential that the recipient becomes their own health advocate, and be responsible to take their anti-rejection medications and adhere to the follow-up regimen of the transplant program. Read more...

Who did the first heart transplant?

1967. In 1967 the first heart transplant was done by christiaan barnard. Thousands are done in the the world each year with fairly good success. Read more...
Barnard. The first one in a human was done by dr. Christian barnard in capetown south africa in 1967. Read more...

Why do you need a heart transplant?

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...
Heart failure. 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...

Can you describe a heart transplant?

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...
Yes. The heart recipient has extensive damage and has failed medical and/ or surgical treatments, and possibly devices. So another heart that matches size, blood type, etc becomes available and is used as donor to replace the recipient sick heart. Use heart lung machine to support the patient while operation done. Read more...