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Heart Transplantation in India

Organ transplant is usually the last resort for treating any ailment. The same is true for heart transplant anywhere in the world. The medical tourism in India is flourishing due to the fact that there are many state of the art hospitals which provide low cost treatment in India. The cost for medical procedures like heart transplant is very high in advanced countries like the US and UK. However, the same quality of treatment can be availed in India at a much lower cost. The best part is that the Indian doctors are well known for their empathy and understanding along with their medical expertise. They provide the best possible treat for pre and post operative –management that ensures that fast recovery of the patient. This is the reason that people from all over the world are coming to India to get heart transplant surgery done.

Heart Transplant

Reasons for Heart Transplant

Heart transplant is the last resort for patients suffering from end stage heart failure. The reasons for the heart failure could be:

  • Hereditary conditions
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Damaged heart valves and muscles due to pregnancy, alcohol or some medicines
  • Viral infections of the heart

Almost all patients opting for heart transplant have already tried less drastic methods of treatment and now no other option is left. These patients may also have been hospitalized several times due to heart failure.

Am I a Candidate for Heart Transplant?

Before deciding upon a heart transplant operation, the surgeons will first assess the eligibility of the candidate for the procedure. The specialists who assess the patient include:

  • A cardiologist
  • Surgeon specializing in cardiovascular surgery
  • Transplant coordinator
  • A dietician
  • Transplant coordinator
  • Psychiatrist

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Although patients with end stage heart failure are the ones chosen for heart transplant surgery, they should be healthy enough to endure the procedure. A heart failure is known to be end stage when all other treatments like medication, implanted devices, and heart surgery have not succeeded. There are some factors and conditions that decide that a heart transplant will not be so successful, they are:

  • Old age – Usually patients under 70 years of age are only chosen for heart transplant
  • If the blood circulation in the body, including the brain is poor then the patient cannot go for this procedure
  • Even if there is an irreversible kidney, lung or liver disease then the person will not be considered
  • A history of cancer or malignant tumors is another factor which does not allow heart transplant
  • Even if the person is unable or not willing to follow a life long care plan the surgery cannot be done
  • Patients with pulmonary hypertension cannot be chosen for heart transplant
  • Active infection throughout the body also does not allow this surgery
  • Diabetes which has caused organ damage also does not permit this surgery
  • Patients who have one or more of the above mentioned factors are not eligible for heart transplant surgery

Donors for Heart Transplant

There are some guidelines that need to be followed while selecting a donor for heart transplant in order to ensure the success of the procedure and the survival and well being of the recipient after the transplant. These guidelines include – confirmation of brain death, ABO blood typing, verification of consent for donation, identifications of co morbid conditions, demographics, and the need for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Another more specific assessment is conducted which includes – inotropic support, presence of thoracic trauma, hemodynamic stability, electrocardiogram, serum cardiac enzyme markers, echocardiogram, and coronary angiography, and manual and visual inspection of the heart.

Diagnosis/tests for Heart Transplantation

Before choosing the patient as a recipient for heart transplant the heart specialist will conduct some diagnosis and tests. This evaluation consists of the assessment of both the cardiac and extra cardiac systems. The patient has to be stable to be considered for heart transplant. The pulmonary vascular health is also assessed and if the patient has pulmonary hypertension then the patient may not be eligible for heart transplant. Other assessments include:

  • Evaluation of the function of the heart muscle with non invasive methods including echocardiography and radionuclide scans
  • Perfusion tests measuring the amount of blood which flows to the tissue
  • The assessment of maximum oxygen uptake with standard exercise studies
  • Testing of the pulmonary functions including arterial blood gases and spirometry
  • Screening for infectious diseases including serology and skin tests
  • Immunogenetics assessing the blood and skin tissue typing and also a check of the human leucocyte antigens level
  • Screening for cancer

Some additional tests may be required depending on the specific situation.

How is Heart Transplant Procedure Done?

  • Heart transplant operation is done under general anesthesia and then the chest cavity will be prepared for the removal of the diseased organ.
  • A cut in the rib-cage is made to expose the chest cavity.
  • Then the surgeon will open the pericardium which covers the heart in order to take out the diseased heart
  • The entire heart except the back portion of the left atrium is removed
  • The new heart is trimmed and sewn in to fit to the remaining parts of the old cardio system
  • This is the orthotopic procedure for heart transplant and is the most commonly used.

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Cost of Heart Transplant Surgery in India

India is one of the choices destinations for various medical treatments due to its vast pool of skilled doctors, cost effectiveness and state of art medical facilities. When it comes to heart transplant, the cost of the procedure turns out to be around Rs 2 crore abroad but in India the same procedure gets to around Rs 15 lakh.

Connect with IndianMedTrip for Affordable Heart Transplantation in India

There are excellent facilities for heart transplant available in India, but patients coming from abroad may not be able to find the right hospitals for this procedure. However, IndianMedTrip is a medical tourism company that works as a coordinator between the patients and hospitals in India. With our help most people have been able to find the right hospitals that suit their requirements. We help you get access to top notch hospitals with the most experienced heart surgeons who hold expertise to undergo even the most tedious heart transplant procedure with ease and perfection.


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