Heart Transplant: What To Expect When You Recover

The medical world has been witnessing revolutionary changes. Life-saving processes like heart transplantation have become the norm of the day. It is generally described as the surgical replacement of an ailing heart with the healthy heart of a donor. From an experimental process (back in 1967) to a full-fledged treatment, heart transplantation has been emerging out as a saviour.     

People suffering from advanced heart failure are suitable candidates for a heart transplant. The process begins with a prudent screening process, followed by putting the name of the patient on the transplant list. The wait for the donor’s heart begins thereafter. Once it becomes available, the transplant surgery commences. It lasts for 4 to 10 hours. 

It is important to note that the heart transplant surgery is a complicated procedure. Since the heart transplant in India is gaining popularity each passing day, careful consideration is expected.  

What to expect? –  Recovery from the heart transplant surgery 

Once the surgery is done, the patient is taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This is considered as the first step towards recovery from heart transplant surgery. The patient is then transferred to a breathing machine where he stays put for about 8 hours. This abates the effects of anaesthesia. The next step includes the removal of the breathing tubes. Once it is done, the physical therapists accompany the patient and help improve his/her activity level.  The patient gets discharged from the hospital depending upon his/her pace of recovery.         

What is organ rejection? 

The natural tendency of the immune system of our body is to resist any foreign intervention. The transplanted heart is considered ‘foreign’ by the cells of the body. This makes them reject the transplanted heart. This may lead to a condition called organ rejection. To avoid such situation, immune-suppressants are given to the patient that he needs to consume for the rest of his/her life. They work by suppressing the immune system, so the new transplanted heart does not get destroyed by the cells of the body.                           

Leading a healthy life after a heart transplant

To lead a healthy life after a heart transplant, some things need to be followed religiously. They include:        

  1. Exercise: Patients who have recently gone through a heart transplant surgery are encouraged to indulge in physical exercises. This help improves the function of the heart besides avoiding any health complication related to weight gain. However, before starting the exercise regime, the patient must consult his/her health specialist. 
  2. Diet: It is mandatory to follow a specific diet a heart transplant surgery. Dieticians generally recommend a low-sodium diet for such patients. 

Moreover, one can consult physiotherapists as they can suggest the ways to improve stamina and strength after the heart transplantation surgery. 

If someone you know requires heart transplant surgery and you are in dilemma about what to do and where to go, it’s best to consult the heart specialists at Care Hospitals. Offering heart transplant in Hyderabad, the doctors and surgeons at Care Hospitals make sure that the patients receive the best after-care services (to fasten the recovery process) alongside the best treatment.          

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Categorized as Health

By Finn

Finn Oliver Edwards: Finn, a pediatric nurse, shares child health tips, parenting advice, and preventive measures for common childhood illnesses.