Heart Transplantation – Patient and Family Guide

Heart Transplantation – Patient and Family Guide

A heart transplant is a very big step, but it can offer you a second chance in life and hope for a healthier future. Obviously things will not be the same after your transplant. You will need to make some significant changes in your life. These changes will provide you and your new heart a possibility of a long and healthy life. If you follow Dr. A. G. K. Gokhale and transplant team’s advice there is a very good chance you can have an active lifestyle.

The first year after your heart transplant will be a critical time. Usually if a person lives through the first year after the transplant, that person has a high probability of living for many years.

Heart transplant surgery is a very complex surgery and the approach to it will vary based on each patient’s unique requirements. This entire process is planned systematically by transplant coordinators who will guide the patients and their families during each step. Generally, after you get a heart, you are quickly moved in for surgery, which lasts about four to five hours.

Following surgery, the patients will receive care in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (ICU) for two or three days, as required, after which they are moved to a surgical nursing unit when their condition is more stable. All the staff of these units are specially trained to care for heart transplant patients. Post-transplant the patients are seen daily by cardiologists for the medical component of their care, checkup and also by heart transplant surgeons for post-surgery care. Patients stay at the hospital for about two weeks, after which they are discharged with proper care guidelines.

Your transplant will call for some major lifestyle changes, in activity, food and living. Following which you will be able lead a long and better life. You will need follow-up and care for the rest of your life. You might also need pacemakers or other heart and vascular care in the future.

Post-transplant coordinators @Dr. A.G. K. Gokhale and Heart Transplant team work with patients and their families to coordinate every detail of their follow-up transplant care.