What is a heart transplant?
Heart transplant is the surgical placement of a healthy heart from a human donor into the body of a person whose own heart is badly diseased. Heart transplant is the best treatment for patients with chronic heart failure when medical therapy is no longer effective. A heart transplant is not for everyone; there are some conditions for which transplant is not appropriate. But, for patients who are eligible, this procedure offers the opportunity for a healthier quality of life.
Irreversible heart damage and cardiomyopathy are the two most common reasons patients receive a heart transplant. Coronary artery disease can cause hardening of the arteries and multiple heart attacks which can lead to irreversible damage to the heart.
Cardiomyopathy causes the heart not to contract normally because of heart muscle cell damage. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection and can also be caused by hereditary factors. Heart transplants can be a treatment option for other heart diseases such as high blood pressure, heart valve abnormalities, congenital heart defects or rare conditions such as heart tumors.