Our Heart Transplant Services

We Provide Best Treatment For Our Patients

Heart Failure Management

Our expert team medically manages heart failure in patients with the latest [...]

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Electrical Device Management 

Qualified electrophysiologists at our centre provide Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT) with biventricular [...]

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Heart Transplant Surgery Procedure

Leading Heart Transplant Hospital in Chennai Heart transplant surgeryis perhaps one of [...]

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ECMO or  Cardiac Revival Program

ECMO help patients suffering from lung injury or heart failure. This technology [...]

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Success Stories

Leading Heart Transplant Hospital in Chennai

 What is a heart transplant?

A heart transplant is a surgery where a diseased heart is replaced by a healthy human heart which is received from a donor.

Who needs a heart transplant?

In case of individuals who have suffered from severe heart failure following which the heart loses its capacity to function optimally, heart transplant surgery may be recommended as the only course of action. Moreover, if your condition is deemed to be serious and other treatments are not doing anything to improve your condition or control your symptoms, seeking a heart transplant could be the only real option.  Before being considered for a transplant, a few factors need to assessed and taken into consideration to gauge if you’re eligible for a transplant.

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If you’re suitable for a transplant, then you will be enlisted in the transplant waiting list. What this means for you is that you are eligible for a transplant and can be called in at any time.

If your condition is not severe enough to put you on the waiting list, you will be put onto the list of candidates potentially suitable for a transplant. In such a scenario, your case will be reviewed on regular basis and in case your condition deteriorates further, you will put on the waiting list.

Then there’s another category wherein you will be subjected to further tests and investigations in order to gather information to gauge if you’re eligible for a transplant.

There are also chances that you might be deemed unsuitable for a heart transplant. Several reasons could be responsible for this decision and our team will on hand to explain why you’re not eligible. You will also be suggested an alternative mode of treatments.

Why do I need a heart transplant?

In most cases, individuals diagnosed with end-stage heart failure and who are in need of life-saving treatment are eligible for a heart transplant. End-stage usually entails that all other forms of treatments – such as medications to improve the heart function, devices in the form of ICD or VAD, surgeries including angioplasty and stenting, valve surgery, cardiac bypass surgery – have all been tried out but to no avail.

There is a very specific criterion in order to be eligible for a heart transplant surgery. Moreover, it’s not a given that every individual who has been diagnosed with end-stage heart disease will be considered for heart transplantation. If you meet the criteria, our medical team at Fortis will be on hand to help you gauge all possible risks involved as after all, this is a major surgical procedure. In the end, we want you to make sure that you make an informed decision before you decide to go ahead. Needless to say, you’ll be offered support and guidance by our team of cardiologists and heart experts to help you arrive at your decision.

What happens in a heart transplant operation?

Before the procedure begins, you’ll be administered a general anesthetic. In addition, you might also be given a round of medication pre-surgery so that you can feel at ease. Once you have gone under, you will not be aware of what happens during the surgery. Our surgeon will then make an incision in the center of your breastbone to get access to your heart. You will then be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine – a device which is responsible for pumping blood through your body and making sure it circulates around your body while your heart is being operated on.

Next, our surgeon will then work on removing your diseased heart and thereon, transplanting the new heart which has been received from the donor. Once this is done, your new heart will be connected to temporary pacing wires to control the heartbeat following which your heart will resume beating again. Once we are confident enough that your new heart is stable and is pumping efficiently, the heart-lung bypass machine will be switched off. Our surgeon will then stitch the incision and you will be given immunosuppressant medication so as to ensure that your body doesn’t reject the donor’s heart.

In most cases, a heart transplant procedure can take between five and seven hours to get completed. Upon completion of the operation, you will then be shifted to the intensive care unit. In most cases, individuals are known to gain consciousness within a few hours or the following day. In case you’re having any difficulty breathing, a ventilator machine will be connected until you are able to breathe on your own. It also needs to be mentioned that in all likelihood, you’ll be connected to ‘chest drains’ – a set of tubes connected to the chest area to help drain fluid from your chest. To enable the flow of fluids and medicines, small tubes will be connected either to your arms or your neck.

What happens after the heart transplantation ?

Once your transplant has been completed and your condition has been stabilized, you will be allowed to meet with your family. Upon leaving the ICU, you will be shifted to a cardiac ward for a couple of weeks. For the next few days, you will be regularly visited and monitored by our team of cardiac professionals including specially trained medical and nursing staff including dieticians, pharmacists, physiotherapists. In addition, you’ll also have to go through several blood tests, chest X-rays and ECGs.

Most individuals are able to leave our hospital within 3-4 weeks after the surgery, but depending on your condition and how you’re recovering, you may be required to stay in the hospital for longer. For the first few months’ post-surgery, you will also be expected to stay in touch with your doctors and also be required to make multiple visits to the hospital to ensure that there are no complications. A series of heart biopsies might also be conducted to analyze how well your body’s immune system is accepting your new heart.

Although recovery is quick in most cases, you will be advised to build up your strength gradually over a period of time. Moreover, any activities which require you to physically exert yourself should be avoided till the time your wounds have completely healed – a process which might take up to three or four months.

What complications might there be?

Just like any other surgical procedure, there are several risks attached to a heart transplant and thereon, complications cannot be ruled out. That being said, complications are said to be manageable in most cases. Furthermore, our heart transplant and care team will always be on hand to monitor your condition during this crucial period. Some of the most common complications which can arise are as follows:

  • Your body or the body’s immune system might attempt to reject the new heart.
  • There are possibilities of infections developing or bleeding post-surgery such as herpes, oral yeast infection (thrush), and respiratory viruses.
  • Coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV) – This is an issue which can develop in the blood vessels responsible for carrying blood to the heart muscle leading them to turn thick and hard. This can also result in serious heart muscle damage.
  • Diabetes
  • There are chances of problems developing with the kidneys which could even result in kidney failure.
  • Formation of blood clots that result in a heart attack, stroke, or lead to lung problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Chances of Metastatic cancer developing

What you can do to aid your recovery?

Patients recovering from a heart transplant surgery need to be fully committed to protecting their new heart and should strictly follow the transplant team’s advice. There are a bunch of lifestyle tips that will be required to be followed to ensure that your recovery goes through unabated. Here are some of the guidelines you will need to follow to aid your recovery:

  • Eating healthy
  • Taking your prescribed medications including immunosuppressants on time without fail
  • Attending all your doctor appointments
  • Quitting smoking and drinking in moderation.
  • Avoiding any interaction with crowds or anyone for that matter who has an infection for at least the first few months’ post-surgery.
  • Building up strength by walking around the house or short walks

What to expect at Fortis?

At Fortis, we are proud to have in place – a highly specialist multi-disciplinary team of top-notch cardiac professionals who can provide the best medical care and social support to you and your family in a calm, relaxed environment. Right from quick and accurate investigations and treatment to specialized investigations relevant to your medical condition, we aim to facilitate the best standards of cardiac care at all times. In addition, we also have a comprehensive range of heart diagnostics mechanism in place backed up by a modern facility that has proven to be a cornerstone of our success.

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