DefinitionThis is surgery to remove a severely diseased and failing heart. It is replaced with a healthy heart from a deceased donor.
|Normal Heart and Heart with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy|
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Reasons for ProcedureA heart transplant is done if you have:
- End stage heart disease that is life threatening and cannot be fixed with medication or other surgeries, but you are in otherwise good health—This is most often due to cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart muscle, along with severe heart failure.
- Severe coronary artery disease that cannot be fixed with medication or other surgeries.
- Congenital heart defects that cannot be fixed with medication or other surgeries.
- Valvular defects that cannot be fixed with medication or other surgeries—This condition makes it too hard for the heart to pump blood through the body.
- Uncontrollable life-threatening irregular heart rhythms that cannot be fixed with medication or other surgeries.
Possible ComplicationsProblems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Rejection of the new heart
- Coronary artery disease
- Blood clots
- Decreased brain function
- Damage to other body organs, such as the kidneys
- Irregular heart rate
- Anesthesia-related problems
- Infection or cancer related to taking immunosuppressive medications
- Lung disease
- Poor circulation
- Kidney or liver disease
- Presence of serious active infection, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis
- Treatment for cancer within the past five years
- Fatigue and malnourishment
- Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes
- Previous stroke or other damage to the blood vessels of the brain
- Continued substance abuse or alcohol use disorder
- Autoimmune disease