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Heart Transplant

Heart Transplant:  Causes and Risk Factors, Treatments | National Heart Centre Singapore

Heart Transplant - What it is

The heart transplant programme was established in 1990 with the National Heart Centre Singapore being the only healthcare institution in Singapore that carries out both heart and lung transplantations.  

Since its establishment, the programme has gifted more than 70 recipients who required a heart or/and lung transplantation, with a new lease of life.

Who needs a heart transplant?

Patients suffering from end-stage heart failure where their condition cannot be relieved by conventional medical or surgical treatment may need a heart transplant. 

Heart Transplant - Symptoms

Heart Transplant - How to prevent?

Heart Transplant - Causes and Risk Factors

Heart Transplant - Diagnosis

Who is eligible for a heart transplant? 

Patients suffering from end-stage heart disease and under the age of 60 are the most likely candidates for a heart transplant. The doctor, patient and family must address the following four basic questions to determine whether a transplant should be considered:

  • Have all other therapies been tried or ruled out?
  • Is the patient likely to die without the transplant?
  • Is the person in generally good health other than suffering from heart disease?
  • Can the patient adhere to the lifestyle changes - which include complex drug treatments and frequent examinations - required after a transplant?

Patients who do not meet the above criteria or suffer from other conditions, such as other severe diseases, active infections or severe obesity, are not suitable candidates for a heart transplant.

Heart Transplant - Treatments

Heart Transplantation

A heart transplant is the replacement of a patient’s diseased heart with a healthy heart from a donor who has suffered brain death. The donor’s heart is completely removed and quickly transported to the operating theatre. During the operation, the patient is placed on a heart-lung machine which pumps blood throughout the rest of the body. The patient’s heart is removed, leaving the back walls of the heart’s upper chambers. The back chambers on the new heart are opened and the heart is sewn into place. The blood vessels are then connected and blood flow through the heart and lungs resumed. As the heart warms up, it begins beating. 

Patients are usually up and around a few days after the heart transplant. If there are no major complications and signs of the body rejecting the organ, patients are usually allowed to go home within two weeks.

Heart Transplant - Preparing for surgery

Heart Transplant - Post-surgery care

Heart Transplant - Other Information

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