When is a heart transplant recommended?

A heart transplant is performed when congestive heart failure or heart injury can't be treated by any other medical or surgical means. It's reserved for those individuals with a high risk of dying from heart disease within one or two years. Most patients who undergo a transplant have one of two problems. One is irreversible damage to the heart caused by coronary artery disease, commonly called "hardening of the arteries," and multiple heart attacks. The other problem is cardiomyopathy, or heart muscle disease. In this condition, the heart cannot contract normally because of damage to the muscle cells. It may have been caused by bacterial or viral infection, or hereditary factors. Occasionally, heart transplants are performed on people with other forms of heart disease. These might include the effects of rheumatic fever or hypertension (high blood pressure), abnormalities in the heart valves that cause damage to the heart muscle, congenital heart defects (those structural abnormalities present at birth), or rare conditions like heart tumors.

Continue Learning about Heart Transplant

how is heart transplant surgery performed ?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
When a donor organ becomes available, patients must proceed to the hospital immediately. Upon admiss...
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how successful are heart transplants in children ?
The Society of Thoracic SurgeonsThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Infants and children who undergo heart transplantation experience good outcomes after surgery. They ...
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what is heart transplantation ?
Columbia University Department of SurgeryColumbia University Department of Surgery
Cardiac transplantation is the surgical placement of a healthy heart from a human donor into the bod...
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what support will i need during my heart transplant process ?
Columbia University Department of SurgeryColumbia University Department of Surgery
No matter where you are in the transplant process, you will not have to face your concerns alone. So...
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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.