What is Cardiac Transplant and How should it be Done?

Heart transplant or Cardiac transplant is a surgery in which a patient with a diseased or damaged heart has it replaced through surgery with a healthy donor heart. This is done when the most serious of conditions occur with the patient and even lifestyle changes, medications and less invasive procedures have not worked or the patient.

The patient’s medical condition is thoroughly checked before he undergoes surgery to determine if the patient is suitable to undergo a transplantation surgery. The most general cases of people who have received heart transplantation surgery are those who have experienced heart failure due to reasons such as insufficient blood being pumped by the heart, electrical conduction system of the heart malfunctioning which is responsible for determining the heart rate, rhythm and sequence of contraction of the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, valve dysfunction, congenital defect or a weakened heart muscle known as Cardiomyopathy. Apart from these, patients must also satisfy certain conditions to be eligible for a transplant. Certain qualifications include that the other organs of the patients must be working fine, he must be under the age of 65 years. In other cases, the heart transplant will not be performed if the patient suffers from certain infections, cancer or advanced stages of diabetes. And it has been noted that smoking and drinking alcohol severely impacts a person’s suitability for a transplant.

The catch to all these is that due to insufficient donors of heart, heart transplant is not carried out on all the patients where it is required. The issue with this is that the donors heart should match the tissue-type and immune system to reduce chances of rejection by the recipient’s body. The donor also should be alive but be in a comatosed situation i.e. brain dead. The demand for healthy hearts far exceeds the supply, therefore the distribution is done after rigorous checks to determine the patient with the most urgent need for a transplant stands to benefit most from a surgery.

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