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Heart Transplant Decisions

The decision to get a heart transplant is significant as there are potential risks to assess. The heart transplant procedure includes a patient receiving a donor heart that replaces a diseased or failing heart. In most cases this procedure is completed when other options have been exercised such as medication and other surgical procedures. Certain health conditions may prompt a need for a transplant, but understanding potential risks and how to maintain a good lifestyle after the procedure can help a transplant patient live better and longer. Decisions surrounding the procedure include knowing what to expect, follow-up care, and what happens during the procedure.

The decision to get a heart transplant may stem from health conditions such as a weak heart muscles, heart disease, congenital heart defects, or a previous heart transplant failure. Heart transplants are performed on adults and children. Even though the procedure can be completed on different types of people, special considerations are made depending on health, age, and previous medical history of the potential heart transplant patient. Some people who are not willing to make lifestyle changes such as omitting or cutting out alcohol may not be a good candidate since you need to consider ways to keep your donor heart healthy.

Reviewing risks is an important aspect for patients making a decision to get a heart transplant. Factors such as potential side effects of medication, infection, artery blockage, and even rejection of the donor heart are possibilities to explore. Other factors that may affect your decision include insurance coverage availability, which is the best doctor or transplant center to carry out the procedure, survival rate, and benefits. A significant factor includes being on a waiting list. Unfortunately, some people pass away while waiting for a heart to become available. While being on a waiting list you should review all options to maintain your current state of health.

When the decision to get a heart transplant is being reviewed, the patient may undergo a series of tests and questions. This will help determine overall whether a patient will be suitable for the procedure and get favorable results. It is important to discuss your decision with your physician and learn about the procedure from the specialty that will perform it. Many people see this as a final resort after being unable to find a solution to improve their heart health, but in a large number of cases the outcome is favorable.