Why is it done?
In severe heart failure, when all other treatments have failed to produce expected improvements but your health is still fairly good, you may be a suitable candidate for a heart transplant operation. Unfortunately, you may have to wait months or even years before a suitable heart becomes available due to the current shortage of donors.
A heart transplant can prolong your life and improve your quality of life compared with conventional treatment. However, this is a major decision and patients are evaluated very carefully before proceeding to transplantation.
What does it involve?
Heart transplantation is a complicated operation that can take from 4 to 10 hours. During the operation, you will be placed on a heart-lung machine that supplies blood to your brain and body.
Your heart will then be removed and your blood vessels will then be connected to your new heart, allowing blood to flow to your body. After your operation, you will be closely monitored to check that your body is not rejecting your new heart. Several medicines are required on a permanent basis following transplantation to prevent your body from rejecting the donor heart.
For more information on heart transplantation, visit the websites below: