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Heart transplant surgery. How does it work?


Heart transplant surgery is a procedure in which a diseased or damaged heart is replaced with a healthy heart from a donor. The procedure is typically reserved for patients with end-stage heart failure who have not responded to other treatments.

The heart transplant surgery involves several steps:

1. Preoperative Preparation: Before the surgery, the patient will undergo a series of tests to evaluate their overall health and determine if they are a suitable candidate for a heart transplant. If the patient is deemed eligible, they will be placed on a waiting list for a donor heart.

2. Anesthesia: The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means the patient is unconscious during the procedure.

3. Incision: The surgeon will make an incision in the chest and open the ribcage to gain access to the heart.

4. Removal of the Diseased Heart: The surgeon will then remove the diseased or damaged heart from the patient’s chest.

5. Implantation of the Donor Heart: The healthy heart from the donor is then implanted into the patient’s chest and connected to the remaining blood vessels.

6. Reperfusion: Once the donor heart is implanted, blood flow is restored to the heart, and the heart is restarted.

7. Closing the Incision: The surgeon will then close the incision in the chest using sutures or staples.

8. Postoperative Care: After the surgery, the patient will be closely monitored in the intensive care unit (ICU) to ensure that the transplanted heart is functioning properly.

Recovery from heart transplant surgery can take several weeks or months, and the patient will need to take medications to prevent rejection of the transplanted heart. Regular follow-up appointments will also be required to monitor the patient’s progress and adjust their medications as needed.