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Everything you need to know about Heart Transplant

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Know about Heart Transplant: The heart is one of the most important body organs that has many significant roles. One most important role that the heart plays is that it pumps oxygenated blood into our body. Through this function, all the other body organs can receive energy to regenerate new cells and carry their tasks properly. However, if not taken proper care of, the heart can get damaged and at times even the medicines are not enough to improve the condition.

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If a patient experiences complete heart failure, a heart transplant is the only surgery that can save their life. Heart transplant cost in India is low and counts as one of the main reasons why many foreign tourists find it as the best destination for medical tourism.

What is a heart transplant and why is it done?

In simple words, a heart transplant is a surgery or an operation carried out when a patient’s heart experiences a complete failure. When a person is otherwise healthy but does not get better with the medicines while experiencing heart failure, then a heart-transplant is the only solution that can cure their situation.

In this operation, a donor is selected whose heart is compatible with the patient, after checking all the conditions, the heart is transplanted in the patient’s body and the organ that is not working is removed from their body. It is a very complicated surgery and usually costs a lot as well. 

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Heart transplants are performed when a person’s heart stops working due to any of the below-mentioned ailments –

  • Coronary artery disease 
  • Heart valve disease
  • Recurring abnormal heart rhythms
  • Failure of previous heart transplant
  • When the heart muscles weaken

While a heart transplant can be the only solution in some situations, not everyone can get a heart-transplant because sometimes this surgery can involve complications. Certain conditions should be met for a heart-transplant and if you check any of the conditions that are mentioned below then a heart transplant can be dangerous-

  • If a patient already has an active infection in the body.
  • If the patient has a recent medical history of chemotherapy or cancer.
  • Have a serious health condition that can put your life in danger like lung issues, weak liver or kidneys.
  • Patients of advanced age are not recommended a heart transplant because the ability to recover from the transplant decreases with the growing age.

If a patient does not have any of the above-mentioned conditions, then a smooth transplant can be carried out. 

How to prepare for a heart transplant?

If a doctor has recommended a patient for a heart transplant then the patient is first sent to the Heart transplant centre for evaluation. There is a set criterion that determines whether a transplant can be done. It includes whether the patient is willing to make lifestyle changes that support the heart donor’s heart. For example, a healthy and nutritious diet, the patient must decide to quit alcohol and smoking. Once they are ready for the transplant then all that is left is finding the right donor.

Finding the right donor takes time. Because you must find a donor whose heart matches your requirements, is that of the right size and much more. Usually, it takes months to find the right donor and in such a case the doctor suggests patients get a ventricular assist implanted in their body.

It helps to assist the heart in carrying the proper functions till a proper donor is found. Once the right donor is found, then the patient needs to prepare for the heart transplant.

How is a heart transplant done?

When the right donor is found, the final examination is done. It is based on this final examination that the heart transplant is carried out.  A heart-transplant is an open heart surgery that is done under normal anesthesia. It takes hours to complete a heart transplant.

It is a complicated surgery that costs a lot. India counts as one of the best places for this surgery. It is because the heart implant cost in India is far cheaper as compared to other countries.  The whole process of a heart transplant takes place like this-

  • The patient is given anesthesia. It is a complicated surgery that requires hours. If a person has already been operated on for heart issues then the surgery takes even more time.
  • After the anesthesia is given, an incision in the chest is made and the heart is then connected to the bypass machine which is necessary to facilitate blood circulation through the body.
  • The transplantation process is carried out, the donor’s heart is planted in the body and when the process is complete, the new heart should start working as normal. Once the new heart gains stability the heart-lung machine is turned off.
  • The cut is then sealed with a wire and surgery is completed.
  • After the surgery is complete, the patient is kept in observation for some time till the patient becomes stable. Once it happens, the patient gets discharged.

What precautions should a patient take after the heart transplant is complete?

There are several things that the patient should keep in mind after the Heart transplant gets completed. There are precautions that the patient should take after the surgery is complete to ensure the proper and healthy working of the heart. Several practices must be included in the lifestyle to ensure good health and a healthy heart.

The patient must quit smoking, drinking and other harmful habits. A healthy diet is very important for full recovery. While at the initial stages, the patient might feel weak but gradually with good diet and exercise, they will feel rejuvenated and regain their strength.

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