Overview of Heart Transplant
When does a patient require a heart transplant?
Patients with advanced Heart Failure, whose condition cannot be relieved by conventional medical or surgical interventions, require Heart Transplantation.
Symptoms of heart failure
A person with heart failure may experience the following symptoms: • Shortness of breath• Frequent coughing, especially when lying down • Swollen feet, ankles, and legs due to fluid buildup • Abdominal swelling and pain • Fatigue • Dizziness or fainting
Eligibility of transplant
Patients suffering from end-stage heart disease and under the age of 60 are eligible for 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 medical therapies been tried or ruled out? • Is the patient likely to die without the transplant? • Is the patient generally in good health other than suffering from heart disease? • Can the patient adhere to the lifestyle changes which include complex drug treatments and frequent medical examinations, required after a transplant?
Patients who do not meet the above criteria or suffer from other severe diseases, active infections or severe obesity, are not eligible for a heart transplant.
• The Heart Transplant programme was established in 1990 with the first heart transplant in Singapore performed in NHCS in the same year.
• Our surgeons have performed more than 65 successful heart transplants. In 2009 our surgeons performed Asia’s first combined heart and liver transplant for a patient with Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy.
• The first Bridge-to-Transplantation (BTT) using Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) took place in 2006 and the first left ventricular assist device implantation as BTT took place in 2004.
• We attained accreditation by the Joint Commission International and we also adopt clinical guidelines recommended by international bodies such as the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). Donors are individuals who are brain-dead, meaning that the brain shows no signs of life while the person’s body is being kept alive by artificial means. Most donors are those who have passed away due to road accidents, strokes or severe head injuries. Depending on the availability of a heart for transplant, patients may wait for months for a transplant.
SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant CentreTel: +65 6326 5194Fax: +65 6220 0730Email:
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