One of the major solutions for certain heart diseases is a heart transplant. This is advised in certain extreme cases. Let us understand the indications for heart transplantation, so as to understand the procedure in a better way.
The human heart is the most important organ in the body. The effective functioning of this organ keeps the body alive and well functioning. Well, we all are aware of the many heart diseases and also know the number and severity of the complications that it invites in the long run. Heart diseases are well-known and studied, and with the ever growing progress in the field of science and medicine, most of the diseases, can be treated fairly, if not completely.
Heart transplantation is one treatment option that is used in case of severe heart disease. It is defined as a surgical procedure that enables the replacement or implantation of the heart that has stopped working effectively or with similar conditions due to a heart disease, with a healthy and well working heart. This is taken from an organ donor (a recently deceased person).
Heart transplantation is a big and complicated procedure but has good success rates. It is widely accepted as the last option to treat a failing heart, especially end stage heart failure. This is an option suggested when the primary treatment for cardiac diseases fail to improve or stabilize the conditions of the patient. Heart transplantation needs a lot of assessment and examining. To understand better we have some facts and information on the indications for heart transplantation below.
Heart Transplantation Procedure
Before we get to the guidelines and other factors to be considered, here is a quick review and outline of the procedure. As we know, this transplantation, is to replace a failed heart with a healthy heart. There are pre-operative procedures like, locating a healthy donor heart, examining the heart, whether or not is it healthy for transplant, or is it suitable too. The patient too is tested on emotional and physical aspects to prepare him for the transplant. Once clear, the heart is transplanted either by completely removing it or keeping it intact to support the donor heart. Certain medications are also advised to keep the new heart and the body in sync and supporting each other.
Indications and Guidelines for a Heart Transplant
Now let us see the outline that indicate to opt for this procedure. These are inclusive of the physical conditions and age as well. Most of the states and medical centers will have their own set of indications and guidelines, but this is a generalized information.
- The most important or we can say generalized indication is a poor heart or terminal heart failure, with deteriorating symptoms and heart conditions, those which have a 12 or less months to live.
- The age of the patient should be less than 65 years and the patient must be willing to cope with the surgical procedure and should be willing to follow the post operative procedure.
- Some other indications like diseases and heart conditions are listed below.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy and Ischemic cardiomyopathy.
- Congenital heart disease, that has no prospects of a non surgical recovery, and failure of medical treatments.
- Ejection fraction is equal or less than 20%.
- A failure of any previous heart transplant operation.
- Failure of conventional therapy for intractable angina or malignant cardiac arrythmias.
However, even if the patient fits in the criteria, there are certain conditions that can reduce the chances of eligibility for heart transplant. They are: Medical conditions that which reduce or shorten the success of a heart transplant, a serious peripheral artery disease, cancer or history of cancer, diseases other than that of the heart that will shorten the life, even after transplantation.
There is a lot of procedure that needs to be taken care of, that includes the waiting period for transplantation, to get a donor heart. There is a list of patients that have registered and eligible for transplant. Priority is given on the urgency of the procedure and certain other factors. Considering all the possibilities and indications for heart transplantation, a decision is made. A good and healthy routine with emotional support for the patient is very important throughout the listing, operative and post operative stages of heart transplantation.