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What happens after I go home from a heart transplant?

A heart transplant is a surgical procedure performed to remove the diseased heart from a patient and replace it with a healthy one from an organ donor.

Once you are home, it will be important to keep the heart transplant surgical area clean and dry. Your physician will give you specific bathing instructions. The sutures or surgical staples will be removed during a follow-up office visit, if they were not removed before leaving the hospital.

You should not drive until your physician tells you to. Other activity restrictions may apply.

Follow-up visits will be scheduled frequently after returning home from the hospital. These visits may include blood tests, chest x-ray, and biopsy (removal of tissue from the heart for examination under a microscope). The transplant team will explain the schedule for these tests. The rehabilitation program will continue for many months.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.