Skip to content

    Heart Disease Health Center

    Select An Article

    Heart Disease and Heart Transplant

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    A heart transplant is the replacement of a person's diseased heart with a donor's healthy heart. The donor is a person who has died and whose family has agreed to donate their loved one's organs.

    In the more than four decades since the performance of the first human heart transplant in 1967, heart transplantation has changed from an experimental operation to an established treatment for advanced heart disease. More than 2,000 heart transplants are performed each year in the U.S. Each year thousands more would benefit from a heart transplant if more donated hearts were available.

    Recommended Related to Heart Disease

    Can You Reverse Heart Disease?

    Making some simple changes in what you eat, how often you exercise, how much you weigh, and how you manage stress can help to put the brakes on heart disease. But can you actually reverse heart disease, not just slow it down? You can undo some, but probably not all, of the damage, if you're willing to make big, lasting changes to your lifestyle.

    Read the Can You Reverse Heart Disease? article > >

    Why Are Heart Transplants Performed?

    A heart transplant is considered when heart failure is so severe that it does not respond to any other therapy, but the person's health is otherwise good. The leading reasons why people receive heart transplants are because they have:

    It is important to note that there are many new innovations for the treatment of heart failure, from new drugs to pacemakers and new surgical therapies. When determining your treatment options, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor who specializes in heart failure.

    Who Is Considered a Candidate for a Heart Transplant?

    People who have advanced (end stage) heart failure, but are otherwise healthy, may be considered for a heart transplant.

    The following basic questions should be considered by you, your doctor, and your family to determine if a heart transplant is right for you:

    • Have all other therapies been tried or excluded?
    • Are you likely to die without the transplant?
    • Are you in generally good health other than the heart or heart and lung disease?
    • Can you adhere to the lifestyle changes, including complex drug treatments and frequent exams, required after a transplant?

    If you answered 'no' to any of the above questions, a heart transplant may not be for you. Also, if you have additional medical problems, such as other severe diseases, active infections, or severe obesity, you most likely will not be considered a candidate for transplant.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
     
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
     
    empty football helmet
    Article
    red wine
    Video
     
    eating blueberries
    Article
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Slideshow
     
    Inside A Heart Attack
    SLIDESHOW
    Omega 3 Sources
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Salt Shockers
    SLIDESHOW
    lowering blood pressure
    SLIDESHOW