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Heart Transplantation

Summary

A heart transplant removes a damaged or diseased heart and replaces it with a healthy one. The healthy heart comes from a donor who has died. It is the last resort for people with heart failure when all other treatments have failed. The heart failure might have been caused by coronary heart disease, damaged heart valves or heart muscles, congenital heart defects, or viral infections of the heart.

Although heart transplant surgery is a life-saving measure, it has many risks. Careful monitoring, treatment, and regular medical care can prevent or help manage some of these risks.

After the surgery, most heart transplant patients can return to their normal levels of activity. However, fewer than 30 percent return to work for many different reasons.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Start Here

  • (American Society of Transplantation) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Living With

Related Issues

  • (United Network for Organ Sharing)
  • (American Heart Association)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Images

Statistics and Research

  • (Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (Texas Heart Institute) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Patient Handouts

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