End stage heart fail. End stage heart failure, intractable angina or ventricular arthythmias are the most common indications for heart transplant. Eligibility screening includes a thorough evaluation: medical (to rule out contraindications such as active cancer, bad diabetes, etc.), social (good support system, non user of tobacco, heavy alcohol or drugs) and financial (ability to pay for meds afterwards).
A Failing Heart. They have end stage cardiac disease, and therefore a predicted shortened life expectancy.
Refractory symptoms. Pts that fail a maximal oral medical therapy reqiure multiple admissions to the hospital visits requiring IV medications to stay out of heart failure. Pts that require an asist device such a lvad are the types of pts that are cosidered for transplant. An vo2 stress test, muga scan, heartcaths, etc are tests done to eval pts. Elderly pts smokers morbidly obese and pts with poor compliance r excluded.
Get transplant eval. Most transplant programs have multidisciplinary teams which include heart failure/transplant cardiology, surgeon, coordinator, and social worker which together evaluate each case for candidacy.
Need an evaluation. You need to be evaluated and approved by a heart transplant center. Ask your cardiologist to refer you to a local center if you were told you have severe heart failure.
Hard. It is never "easy" to have any surgery and a heart transplant is certainly never easy.
Not enough organs. At the end of 2011 in the us there were about 3, 100 patients on the wait list for a heart; and in 2011 2, 322 patients received a heart transplant.
No and yes. The transplant is a huge pyschological ordeal. And this would affect anyone. But your emotions are from your brain and not your heart.
They may. Lots of stressors, and drugs! Lots of preparation is usual to help post transplant signs, symptoms, feelings, learning.