Heart Transplants …. and the facts.


Heart Transplants are a super-major surgery performed on patients with an end-stage cardiac disease. It is essentially what the name suggests: patients receive a new heart from a donor.Very few hospitals in India can perform heart transplants and, of course, AHI is a key hospital in this rare list.

A donor must be medically declared brain dead. There must be absolutely no viable option to resuscitate a donor., and permission must be granted by a donor in advance, or given by their family. Of course matching a donor to a needy patient is not easy … it is quite an impossible situation.

Annually approximately 4000 Indians with end-stage heart failure require a transplant, but very few manage to ‘get’ a heart. There are many challenge, not the least of which is to find a donor.

Awareness of donorship is also an issue.

All things given, the good news is that you are told you need a transplant, it is key to remember that a transplant is normally a quite safe procedure. Knowing exactly how a transplant is performed can help alleviate the terror and panic that anyone would feel.

When do you need a Heart Transplant?
Your cardiologist is the one who evaluates your condition and has a track of your medical history. Your cardiologist is therefore the one who will, based on your condition, recommend you to a Transplant center for evaluation, where tests are performed to evaluate the severity of your condition and determine the functionality of your other organs.

Organ availability
Because of the lack of transplants performed in India, there is already a long list of recipients waiting for a suitable heart donor. When a potential donor is available the doctors contact the patients immediately.

Once a potential heart donor is identified and available, a heart transplant involves three procedures.

Harvesting the heart from the donor: As mentioned earlier, the donor is an unfortunate patient who has suffered an irreversible brain injury and is currently ‘brain dead’

Removing the patient’s damaged heart: The complexity of this procedure depends on whether the patient has had a previous heart surgery (which is usually the case). In case of an earlier surgery, the scar may increase the difficulty of the procedure.

Implant of the donor heart: Probably the simplest of all the three procedures involved in the transplant. This procedure involves creating five lines of stitches or sutures that connect large blood vessels entering and leaving the heart. Most patients can be discharged from the hospital a week after the surgery, unless there are any complications involved.

Post transplant
Most patients do not complain of any major pain after the transplant. Patients however will be on immunosuppressive or anti-rejection drugs in addition to drugs that will protect your body from infection.
A successful transplant drastically improves your condition. Most patients can perform the regular activities and enjoy the same quality of life like they did before a transplant.

Asian Heart institute is one of the few centers in India equipped with the right infrastructure, expertise and experience to perform a successful heart transplant.

To know more about heart transplant surgeries or to book an appoint with our cardiologists for any heart-related issues, please call +91 99201 55000 or visit http://www.asianheartinstitute.org/contact-us/contact-us.html

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Would you like more information on this topic? Would you like help with health issues or answers to health questions? Would you like a high-speed appointment with our doctors, surgeons or consultants? Are you outside India and would you like information on world-class treatment and surgery options with Asian Heart Institute or Asian Hospitals? You are welcome to write to our Special Co-ordination Officer, at international.assist@ahirc.com.

Please allow a maximum of 24 hours for a reply, to account for international time differences. We are open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., Indian Standard Time, which is UTC 5:30+.

Of course, if your query seems to require an urgent response, expect to hear from us before that time. Please mark your subject line in your email URGENT.

Our International Patients Cell is very experienced in assisting patients from all over the world; be assured of expert, experienced assistance with any and all issues of traveling to our hospital, from anywhere in the world. We can assist with specialised medical needs you may have for travel. More information is available at www.asianheartinstitute.org and www.asianhospitals.org

You can also call our Helpline 126126, or from outside Mumbai, +91 99201 552000.

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For any questions about our 3 blogs, or our social media outreaches on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and tumblr., please write to Alvin Saldanha at alvinsaldanha@gmail.com

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