Table of contents:
Heart transplant is the last step in treating heart disease. This action is done when the administration of drugs and other treatment methods are not effective for dealing with heart problems that you are experiencing
Heart transplantation is the process of removing a heart that is no longer working optimally and replacing it with a heart transplant procedure that is safe to do as long as the patient continues to undergo regular check-ups afterward.
Requirements for a Heart Transplant
A heart transplant may be considered if you are in any of the following conditions:
- Experiencing severe heart failure
- Has a low chance of survival if you don't get a heart donor
- No smoking
- Be in good he alth enough to undergo surgery and care during and after transplant
- Willing and able to follow the medical program provided by the team of doctors
However, heart transplantation is not recommended if people with heart disease or heart failure have the following conditions:
- Has a history of cancer or other high-risk diseases
- Advanced age can affect the body's ability to recover from transplant surgery
- Has another illness, severe infection, or obesity.
Heart Transplant Procedure
Heart transplant surgery is performed for the safety and improvement of the patient's quality of life. Broadly speaking, the following are the stages of a heart transplant:
Phase I: Finding the right donor
It's not easy to find the right donor. Usually, heart donors come from people who recently died with a heart condition that is still good, for example due to a traffic accident or brain death.
Even though you have found a donor, there are many factors that must be matched, such as blood type, heart size, and how severe the condition of the recipient's heart is. In addition, the doctor will also consider the risks that the donor recipient can face.
It should also be noted that the transfer of the heart from the donor to the recipient should not take more than 4 hours so that the heart continues to function properly.
Phase II: Removing the heart of the donor recipient
Once the right heart is obtained, the doctor will perform a heart removal procedure on the donor recipient. The level of difficulty and the length of the heart removal process, depends on the donor recipient's heart he alth history.
Hearts that have gone through several surgeries generally take longer and are more difficult to remove.
Phase III: Installing a heart from a donor
The process of implantation or placement of the heart into the recipient may be the easiest procedure compared to the previous processes. In fact, in general, only five stitches are needed for the donor's heart to function properly in his new body.
This process aims to connect the large blood vessels in the new heart to the blood vessels that will circulate blood throughout the body.
Heart Transplant Risks
Before performing heart transplant surgery, you and your family can first consult with your doctor to find out what the benefits and risks of this procedure are.
Some of the risks that can occur from a heart transplant are:
1. Treatment side effects
After undergoing a heart transplant, you are required to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of your life. This is done to prevent the body's rejection of the transplanted heart.
However, if taken continuously, this drug can cause side effects such as kidney damage. Therefore, take the medicine according to the dosage and instructions given by the doctor.
Immunosuppressant drugs work by suppressing the immune system. A weakened immune system can make the infection difficult to heal. Therefore, it is important to always check the condition of heart he alth regularly, especially in the first tofu after transplantation.
The potential for cancer will increase because the immune system decreases due to taking immunosuppressant drugs. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is the type of cancer most at risk when you are undergoing treatment after a heart transplant.
4. Problems with arteries
Thickening and hardening of the arteries is one of the risks after a heart transplant. This condition makes blood circulation in the heart not smooth and triggers a heart attack, heart failure, or heart rhythm disturbances.
5. Rejection of the new heart by the body
The biggest risk of a heart transplant is the body's rejection of a new heart. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that you take immunosuppressant drugs that have been prescribed by your doctor and undergo regular check-ups with your doctor.
In addition, patients are also advised to live a he althy lifestyle and diet, exercise regularly, and control stress after undergoing the transplant process.
If you experience certain symptoms after undergoing a heart transplant, such as fever, shortness of breath, and weight gain due to fluid buildup, immediately consult a doctor for a proper examination and treatment.