A heart transplant is a surgery that is performed by removing a diseased heart with a healthy heart donated via an organ donor. Before we decide on a heart transplant for a patient, we ensure that the patient is healthy enough to undergo the transplantation.
Who needs a heart transplant?
When all other treatment options fail, heart transplants remain the only option. Our practitioners help you comprehend the fact that heart failure certainly does not mean that your heart will stop beating. But, it is a situation where enough blood is not circulated to nature, and it is weak and damaged.
Some primary factors of heart failure comprise:
Viral infection within the heart muscles
Heart attack as myocardial infarction (MI)
Heart valve disease
High blood pressure
Drug abuse or alcoholism
Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
Heart muscles become stiff, enlarged, and thick
Low count of red blood cells
Evaluation process followed by CARE Hospitals before recommending heart transplantation
The process of transplant evaluation includes:
Blood tests - We suggest a blood test to help patients find a perfect donor match and make the chances of rejection zero or minimal.
Social or psychological evaluation - Some social and psychological issues associated with organ transplants comprise financial issues, stress, and less support from the family. These factors play a key role.
Diagnostic tests - Our team assesses your lungs and the healthcare provider. These tests may include ultrasound procedures, X-rays, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) CT scans, and dental examinations. Women may be recommended to get a gynecology evaluation, a Pap test, and a mammogram.
Our transplant team works on the entire information such as your health history, diagnostic tests, and physical examination.
How are heart transplants executed?
A heart transplant needs open-heart surgery and a considerable stay in the hospital. As per the specific condition of a patient, procedures might vary. Usually, the procedure follows:-
The healthcare provider begins an (IV) intravenous in the patient's hand or his arm for injecting medicine and for providing IV fluids. In the blood vessels of your wrist and neck, additional catheters are inserted for monitoring the blood and heart pressure status (as well as to take samples of blood). For additional catheters, they may find groin and collarbone.
A flexible and soft tube known as a Foley catheter is put inside the bladder for draining urine.
A tube is put via the nose or mouth in the stomach for draining stomach fluids.
If excessive hair is there on the chest, it may be shaved.
This procedure is performed when the patient is in deep sleep (general anesthesia). Once the patient is asleep, a breathing tube is put via his mouth into the lungs. The tube is connected to a ventilator (machine) that accomplishes the breathing process during the heart transplantation surgery.
The anesthesiologist keeps a close watch on the blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen flow of the patient during the surgery. Further, the skin of the chest is cleaned using an antiseptic solution.
The surgeons perform an incision (cut) at the center of the patient's chest (just above the navel).
Surgeons put tubes inside the chest to ensure blood is pumped properly within the body by a cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung) machine when the heart is replaced or stopped.
The donor's heart is sewn into the place of the heart. Once the placement of the heart is done perfectly, the blood vessels are connected carefully to avoid any sort of leaks.
Once the fresh heart is connected fully, the blood circulation via the bypass machine is allowed to go back in the tubes and heart. Now, it is time when the surgeon will shock the heart using a small paddle for restarting the heartbeat.
Once the donor's heart starts beating in the patient's body, the surgeon's team will assess the heart to see whether it is working fine without any traces of leaks.
In the heart, wires might also be put for pacing. The surgeons can attach the wires to a pacemaker outside the patient's body for a short duration to pace the new heart for a short duration. If required, it is done in the initial period.
After this, the team of surgeons starts rejoining the sternum and sews it collectively using small wires. Sutures and surgical staples are used for closing the incision.
Once this surgery is accomplished successfully, the patient remains in the hospital under the doctor's supervision for a week or more. After that, he is advised with rest and medications for a specific duration with regular follow-up visits.
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