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A heart transplant is a surgery to remove the diseased heart from a person and replace it with a healthy one from an organ donor. To remove the heart from the donor, two or more healthcare providers must declare the donor brain-dead.
Before you can be put on a waiting list for a heart transplant, a cardiologist makes the decision that this is the best treatment choice for your heart failure. A healthcare team also makes sure you are otherwise healthy enough to go through the transplant process.
You may need a heart transplant if your heart is failing and other treatments are not effective. End-stage heart failure is a disease in which the heart muscle is failing severely in its attempt to pump blood through the body. It means other treatments are no longer working. End-stage heart failure is the final stage of heart failure. The term failure means the heart muscle is failing to pump blood normally because it is damaged or very weak, or both.
Some causes of heart failure include acute myocardial infarction, Viral infection of the heart muscle also called myocarditis, uncontrolled hypertension, heart valve disease, complex congenital heart defects not amenable for corrective procedures, tachycardia-induced cardiomyopathies, severe pulmonary artery hypertension and patients who have failed multiple attempts at heart failure surgeries. Sometimes, before the heart transplant, while waiting for a heart donor, patients may have to be placed on ventricular assist devices to avoid the onset of multi-organ dysfunction due to a failing heart.
Manipal hospital has a multidisciplinary team to take care of all possible risk factors and their management and hence optimize the outcomes of heart transplant surgery. Risks may be varied like bleeding, infection, renal dysfunction, immunosuppression which requires highly skilled interventions. Regular follow-up is required to optimize the function of the donor heart and the prevention of organ rejection by regular biopsies and lifelong immunosuppressant.