Heart Transplantation Explained

What is a Heart Transplantation?

A Heart Transplant is a surgery in which a damaged or diseased heart is removed and replaced with a healthy heart. The heart transplant operation is done by cardiac surgeon only as they specialize in it. It is very difficult to find a healthy heart donor. The heart is donated by a person whose heart is working but his brain is dead. The heart of donor must match to your tissues so that chances of rejection by your body are reduced.

Why Required? – When all medications and treatments failed.

  1. Severe Angina: It is a problem that occur due to poor flow of bold through coronary blood vessels.
  2. Sudden Heart Failure: When no medicine and treatment work.
  3. Heart Defects: Those defects which are from the time of birth and cannot be corrected by operations.
  4. Life threatening functioning of heart with abnormal heartbeats.


  1. Patient is put into sleep with anaesthesia.
  2. Through his breastbone a cut is made.
  3. Heart Lung bypass machine is attached to the body, so that when the heart is stopped it provide blood and oxygen to the whole body.
  4. Then the diseased heart is removed and a healthy heart is fixed.
  5. Heart lung bypass machine is removed, so that blood flows through the replaced heart.
  6. For complete re-expansion of lungs, tubes are inserted in it to drain the air, blood and fluids from the chest. This procedure takes several days.
  7. Heterotopic Transplant: In this surgeon does not remove the old diseased heart, but fix a new heart over top of it.

Major Risks:

  1. Reaction of medicines and breathing problem due to anaesthesia.
  2. Bleeding and Infections
  3. Heart attack
  4. Failure of other organ lungs, kidney etc.
  5. Rejection of heart
  6. Chances of developing cancer due to medicines
  7. Sever Coronary artery disease


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Albany Fined for Exaggerating Condition of Heart Transplant Patients

Albany Medical Center has been fined $18,000 after a state investigation confirmed it overstated the seriousness of the conditions of 45 heart patients to cut the time they waited for life-saving transplants.

New York State Health Department investigators said that in a review of 12 cases, they found five instances where the hospital had told the United Network for Organ Sharing — which coordinates the distribution of organs — that patients would die within a week.

The state concluded that those assessments were completely untrue, and levied the maximum fine on Albany Medical Center.

State Health Commissioner Antonia Novello said she was “especially troubled by the failure of the hospital,” which allowed the heart transplant program to misrepresent the conditions of its patients.

James J. Barba, president of Albany Medical Center, pledged that the the hospital’s heart transplant program — which has been suspended since October — would reopen by the end of this year.

The state is requiring that the hospital hire an independent consultant to review how it reports patients’ conditions, among other oversight requirements, before the program will be allowed to resume.

After the heart transplant unit opened in April 2000, it quickly became one of the nation’s busier heart transplant centers. The average waiting time for patients listed for a heart transplant was two months, compared with the national average of 10 months.

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