Understanding the complex process of heart transplant

This depth of experience gives us the expertise necessary to provide you with the most personalized, comprehensive care possible.

Understanding the complex process of heart transplant

This is because donor organs are scarce and heart transplantation management is a life-long concern requiring compliance to a doctor prescribed regimen that includes a healthy diet, exercise, and long-term medication after heart transplantation. The first step in establishing a treatment partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Heart Transplant Team while undergoing an evaluation for your suitability as a heart transplantation candidate.

We rely upon a series of tests and evaluations with specialists to ascertain your heart transplantation eligibility. Not all patients are clinically appropriate for heart transplantation, as there may be findings that would predict failure of the transplanted organ.

Furthermore, not all patients referred will need transplantation, other medication and alternatives may exist. The Evaluation Your doctor has contacted the Cleveland Clinic's heart transplant team to have you evaluated for heart transplant or other therapies for heart failure.

A cardiologist will review your records and decide an appropriate testing for you. After recommendations are made you will be sent to our scheduling office to get your appointments set up.

Heart Transplant Process | Heart Transplant | Barnes-Jewish Hospital

The evaluation by the heart failure cardiologist may take place in the hospital or in the outpatient clinic. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the severity of your heart disease, and which form of therapy is best suited to your condition, and whether a heart transplant is an option.

We do not recommend cardiac transplantation unless it is absolutely necessary, and likely to be associated with long-term success. Often times, other treatments are possible, including other medical and surgical options.

The cardiologist will talk to you about your family history; medical history including previous evaluations, past hospitalizations, and treatments; surgical history; and social history.

Understanding the complex process of heart transplant

The doctor will perform a complete physical examination Psychosocial Evaluation Psychological issues often play an important role in the long-term success of your heart transplant surgery. Emotional stability and a supportive social environment are key factors. To increase our understanding of these elements in your life, the transplant social worker will conduct a detailed psychosocial evaluation prior to heart transplant surgery.

Some general areas considered are: Identifying Information Understanding your medical diagnosis and how your disease has progressed will help us determine your level of acceptance of cardiac transplant as a therapeutic option.

Family History Cultural Factors Your family history and cultural factors provide information regarding your living situation.

Understanding the complex process of heart transplant

Living Situation Before Hospitalization Finding out about your life and family relationships is essential to the transplant process. These relationships impact both the pre- and post-transplant period.

Hobbies and Social Activities Your hobbies and activities you enjoy may be useful in helping you cope with the period of waiting for an organ and setting recovery goals after transplant.

Support System Includes family, friends, the community, and church. Positive support from family members, loved ones, and friends is essential during the phases of transplant and helps to ensure a successful recovery. Military history may reveal eligibility for back-up health care systems such as the Veteran's Administration Medical Center.

Finances This helps the business office to establish financial eligibility.

Heart Transplant | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library

Are there benefits for which you are eligible, but have not applied or been granted? Adherence Pattern Adherence to past medical advice and treatment plans can be a predictor of how well you will stick to future medical advice.

History of smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, as well as compulsive overeating, raises concern about successful follow-up. Past and present psychiatric history is also explored.

Psychosocial Assessment The social worker will assess your strengths, coping resources, and areas of concern regarding your ability to tolerate the transplant process. The concerns may be great enough to reconsider recommendation for transplant. The Social Worker The social worker's role is to use counseling skills and community resources to help you and your family maintain normal life activities during the transplant process.

Information regarding housing needs also can be discussed with the social worker. At this time, we recommend that you start making healthy lifestyle changes.The process usually begins with a letter from the recipient to the donor family, sent in care of the transplant center.

Different centers have different procedures, but general guidelines for the first letter to the donor family are outlined in the fact sheet, Contacting Your Donor Family. Understanding Congestive Heat Failure.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the weakened heart muscle loses its ability to pump efficiently. For nearly five million aging Americans, congestive heart failure brings frightening trips to the emergency room and recurrent hospitalizations.

A heart transplant is the replacement of a person's diseased or damaged 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. The heart transplant program at UK Transplant Center offers comprehensive care for transplant patients.

Our heart transplant program was founded in , and since that time we have performed hundreds of heart transplants for patients with end-stage heart disease. A heart transplant is a surgical procedure used to treat the most serious cases of heart disease.

This is a treatment option for people who are in the end stages of heart failure.

Related stories

Medication. A heart transplant is a surgical procedure used to treat the most serious cases of heart disease.

This is a treatment option for people who are in the end stages of heart failure. Medication.

Heart Transplant Process | Heart Transplant | Barnes-Jewish Hospital