What is an organ transplant?
An organ transplant replaces a failing organ with a healthy organ from another person. Organs most often transplanted are:
More than one organ can be transplanted at one time. For
example, a heart and lung transplant is possible.
Who can get a transplant?
Not everyone is
a good candidate for an organ transplant. Your doctor or a transplant center
will do tests to see if you are. You probably are not a good candidate if you
have an infection, heart disease that is not under control, a
drug or alcohol problem, or another serious health
If your tests show you are a good candidate, you are put
on a waiting list.
How successful are organ transplants?
Transplants are more successful
today than ever before. Organ transplant success depends on:
- Which organ is transplanted.
many organs are transplanted. For example, you could have a heart transplant or
a heart and lung transplant.
- The disease that has caused your
organ to fail.
How do you prepare for an organ transplant?
you'll need to have blood and tissue tests done that will be used to match you
with a donor. This is because your immune system may see the new organ as
foreign and reject it. The more matches you have with the donor, the more
likely your body will accept the donor organ.
You'll also need to take
care of your health. Continue to take your medicines as prescribed and get
regular blood tests. Follow your doctor's directions for eating and exercising.
You also may want to talk with a
licensed mental health counselor about your
To learn more about what happens, talk to someone who
has had a transplant. Your transplant center or doctor can give you the name of
someone who is willing to share his or her experience with you.
may have to wait days, months, or years for your transplant. Be patient, and
ask your doctor what you can do while you're waiting.