This Blog contains a Complete guide about Heart transplant Surgery in Hyderabad by Dr. PV Naresh. This blog contains detailed information from What is a Heart Transplant Surgery? to Procedure & Recovery.
What is Heart Transplant?
A heart transplant surgery is a procedure performed by a cardiologist or a cardiothoracic surgeon where a patient’s diseased heart is replaced with a healthy donor heart.
It is a major and very complicated procedure performed by a team of experts and therefore is recommended to only those patients who are suitable to undergo the transplant only after confirmation that all other medications and procedures could not improve the heart condition.
Reasons for a Heart Transplant
A heart transplant can be recommended for any of the following conditions:
- Coronary artery disease
- Valvular heart disease
- A weakening of the heart muscle (Cardiomyopathy)
- A heart problem associated with birth (Congenital heart defect)
- Failure of previous heart surgery which can also include a previous transplant
Pre Heart Transplant
The wait time for a patient who has been recommended to go for a heart transplant to go through the procedure is a very long one which often takes weeks or months.
- The first step after the recommendation will be a series of evaluations by the heart transplant center to determine if the patient is the right candidate for the transplant.
- Patients can have the following or more reasons to be deemed not suitable for a transplant:
- Age older than 65
- A pre-existing medical condition that can be a risk for transplant recoveries such as serious kidney, liver or lung disease
- Patients with active infections
- Patients diagnosed with or have a medical history of cancer
- Has an unhealthy lifestyle and is unwilling or unable to make changes necessary such as not drinking alcohol or not smoking
- Patients with pulmonary hypertension and or thickening of blood vessels
- If needed another less complicated procedure or treatments might be recommended to the patients instead of the transplant itself.
- Once the evaluation is done and the patient is fit enough to go through the transplant and the post-surgery treatments than they are put on the list for receiving a donor’s heart.
- Since waiting for a donor’s heart and finding the right match for the patient’s heart can take time, an intermediate treatment procedure or a temporary assisting device like Ventricular assisting devices(VADs) might be recommended depending on the urgency of the heart condition.
- Once a donor’s heart is available then a series of tests such as the blood type, size of the heart, antibodies of the recipient, other potential medical treatments, etc. are done to check if its a perfect match for the patient.
- Once the donor’s heart is a match the transplant procedure should be done within 4 hours after harvest from the donor. Therefore only a hospital or transplant center that is equipped and ready for such procedures needs to be chosen beforehand.
Heart Transplant Procedure
Heart transplant surgery is a very long and complicated open-heart procedure that can take several hours or longer. General anesthesia is administered to the patient to cause him to sleep during the whole procedure.
A heart-lung bypass machine is connected to keep the oxygenated blood flowing through the body while the procedure is happening.
Your cardiothoracic surgeon will make an incision in the chest and will separate the chest bone to open the rib cage for the operation on the heart. The diseased heart is removed and the donor’s heart is sewed into place and all the major blood vessels are attached to the donor’s heart.
The transplanted heart is checked for its blood flow and heartbeat. In case of any abnormality in heartbeat, an electric shock can be given to make it perform properly.
Once the surgery is done and the temporary bypass machines are removed, the patient’s chest is attached to tubes that can drain off the fluids from around the lungs and heart. The patient is also kept on ventilator support to help in easy breathing.
Pain control and management medications are administered and the patients are transferred to intensive care units and monitored for a couple of days. All the needed fluids and medications are given only through intravenous (IV) tubes while under observation.
Post Heart Transplant
After an initial observation period in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a few days, the patient is moved to a regular hospital room for a week or two. This time in the ICU and the hospital room can be different for each patient and has to be recommended only by the doctors who intensely monitor the patient.
Recovery After Heart transplant Surgery
Post the heart transplant surgery and discharge, patients need to be very closely monitored for the next few months and therefore it is recommended the patients stay closer to the hospital for their follow-up visits which can be very frequent.
To check if the patient’s body is rejecting the new donor heart, frequent heart biopsies are done during the first few months after heart transplantation.
Therefore, It is very important to be in touch with your transplant doctor who will be monitoring for any signs or symptoms of rejection. Get in contact with your transplant team in case of any discomfort that is noticed however insignificant it is.
Signs of discomfort could be because of shortness of breath, high temperature, and fever, tiredness or fatigue, not being able to urinate properly or in low volumes, the sudden increase in weight, etc.
Rejection is most likely to occur in the first few months and therefore the frequency of necessary biopsies and follow-ups will decrease after some time.
Apart from the biopsies, several long-term adjustments and recommendations are made by your doctor after a heart transplant such as:
- Medications including immunosuppressants
- Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, wearing sunscreen, etc.
- A healthy diet plan which is easy on the heart and body
- Exercise and activity regimen
Find The Best Cardiothoracic Surgeon For Your Heart Transplant
If you or a loved one needs a heart transplant then it becomes imperative to research and make sure to get in touch with the best health care professional to evaluate you, perform your heart transplant, and can also coordinate follow-up care.
Heart Transplant Surgery in Hyderabad
Dr. PV Naresh of Yashoda Hospital, is a well trained and experienced doctor in heart and lung surgery (cardiothoracic surgeon), with a track record of more than 10,000 Cardiothoracic surgeries and more than 22 Heart transplant surgeries so far with many LVAD Implantations, several hearts, and lung transplants and countless Congenital Cardiac Repairs.
He is part of an establishment with a team of specialists including anesthesiologists, disease management, psychiatrists, cardio rehab therapists, and other specialties to collaborate as a multidisciplinary team to provide you with a detailed, well-coordinated and a comprehensive care plan for your Heart Transplant Surgery in Hyderabad