Leading Heart Transplant Hospital in Chennai

Heart transplant surgeryis perhaps one of the most complicated surgical procedures done on the human body.

It is considered as an option for patients with End stage cardiac failure when other treatments are not effective anymore. For conditionslike Myocardial Infarction, High blood pressure, Valve diseases and irregular heartbeat rate etc., this procedure can extend the life span of the patient significantly.

Understanding Heart Transplant

A heart transplant is a surgery to remove a person’s diseased heart and replace it with a healthy heart from a deceased donor. Most heart transplants are done on patients who have end-stage heart failure. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is damaged or weak. As a result, it can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.”End-stage” means the condition is so severe that all treatments, other than a heart transplant, have failed.
The Heart Transplant Process Heart transplants are done as a life-saving measure for end-stage heart failure.
Survival rates for people receiving heart transplants have improved, especially in the first year after the transplant. After the surgery, most heart transplant patients can return to their normal levels of activity.
The heart transplant process starts when doctors refer a patient who has end-stage heart failure to a heart
transplant centre. Staff members at the centre assess whether the patient is eligible for the surgery. If the patient is eligible, he or she is placed on a waiting list for a donor heart.
Heart transplant surgery is done in a hospital when a suitable donor heart is found. After the transplant, the patient is started on a lifelong health care plan. The plan involves multiple medicines and frequent medical
check-ups.

A Suitable Candidate

It is recommended to consult a specialist to see if one is a suitable candidate for this procedure and to understand the risks and the success rate of the procedure to set realistic expectations.

The transplant team will:

  • Review health history
  • Run physical exams and diagnostic tests like CT scan, ultrasound and PFT etc.
  • Brief about the procedure and risks based on the tests

The Procedure

A team of cardiac surgeons take the lead on this surgery, which could take up to several hours. After the patient is given general anesthesia, the surgeons connect him to a heart-lung bypass machine to perform the procedure.

A majorly invasive procedure, during this surgery, the chest is cut open and the rib cage opened to access the deep-seated heart.

The surgeons then remove the failing heart and replace it was a donor’s heart that often starts to beat the moment the major vessels are stitched to the heart.

Risks with heart transplant surgery

Complications in surgery can change the expected outcome from a surgery; patients are explained about the unexpected risks like

  • Infection due to suppressed immunity
  • Blood loss and bleeding before or after surgery
  • Blood clots that cause the risk of heart attack, brain stroke, or lung problems
  • Troubled Breathing
  • Kidney failure due to rejection
  • Coronary allograft vasculopathy (CAV)
  • Failure of the donor heart & Death

Post Operation

After the surgery is over, the patient is given medication to manage pain. The ventilator is still connected and tubes are inserted to drain fluids that accumulate around the heart.

The patients, depending on their condition, take different recovery time and are kept in the Intensive Care Unit for around two weeks. Afterwards the patient is moved to general ward is the recovery is strong and steady.

Discharge from the Hospital

After two to three weeks, the patient is discharged from the hospital but required to make frequent visits for monitoring recovery for at least three months. The most crucial period after the surgery as the chances of rejection of the new heart is highest.

Many tests are run on the patients to check for symptoms of rejection, such as fever, fatigue, less urine pass etc.  A heart biopsy may also be performed after regular intervals to check for rejection along with echocardiogram and electrocardiogram.

Life After a Heart Transplant

Such a major event in the life of the patient may require lifelong changes in lifestyle to live a quality life.

The first and the most prominent change will be taking medication for preventing rejection. Immunosuppressants prevent the body from seeing the heart as a foreign component by decreasing the activity of immune system. This also makes the patient more susceptible to infections and other diseases.

The side effects of immunotherapy can be prominent like swelling of the face, weight gain, acne and facial here and stomach related ailments. But the patient has to develop a coping strategy to minimize the effect of these changes on his life.

At times, the immune suuppressants may lead to other major diseases like high blood pressure, cancer, dissolving of bones(osteoporosis) and diabetes.

Many hospitals for heart failure surgical treatment in Chennai have special training and coping programs for such patients to help them better manage this lifelong regimen.

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