During a heart transplant, a diseased or damaged heart is removed and replaced with a healthy heart obtained from a donor. To perform the procedure, an incision is made in the breast bone and the patient’s blood supply is re-routed to a heart-lung bypass machine so that the donor heart can be placed.
Also Known As:
- Transplant surgery
- Cardiac surgery
- Open heart surgery
Conditions Treated with a Heart Transplant:
A heart transplant is utilized in order to treat heart disease in the end stages. It can also be used for patients who have idiopathic cardiomyopathy.
There are no comparable non-surgical or surgical alternatives to a heart transplant.
Anesthesia with a Heart Transplant:
A heart transplant is performed with general anesthesia, which means that the patient is asleep and completely unaware during the procedure.
Potential Complications from a Heart Transplant:
Possible risks following a heart transplant include infection, bleeding and a negative reaction to the anesthesia. Other potential complications include scarring and blood clots. Additionally, it is possible for the transplant to be rejected. Many patients need to take medication to prevent rejection and experience side effects from the medication as well.
Prognosis after a Heart Transplant:
The prognosis for a positive end result following a heart transplant is good. It is the fourth most common transplant done in the United States each year. 85 percent of patients survive the first year with the transplant, and the survival rate is approximately 72 percent in year five.
Recovery from a Heart Transplant:
The total recovery time following a heart transplant is two to three months.