What is a Heart Transplant?

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Heart transplant is a surgical procedure to remove a person’s diseased heart (orthotopic approach) and replace by a healthy heart from an organ donor. Less commonly, heart transplant can be carried out without the removal of diseased heart and a healthy heart will be positioned (heterotopic approach) to encourage the recovery of the diseased heart of the recipient. Cardiac surgeons will only perform heart transplantation, if only congestive heart failure was diagnosed in the patient. And there are many requirements need to be fulfilled for the transplantation to be carried out successfully. One of the limiting factors of the heart transplantation is the number of organ donors. Approximately 5000 cardiac transplants are performed in the world annually. More 2000 heart transplants are performed in the U.S yearly. According to Fishbein, MD who specializes in cardiovascular pathology (2007), patients are required to change their lifestyle and take numerous immunosuppressive drugs. All potential recipients must undergo psychological evaluation to become qualified recipients. Most importantly, the immune system of the patient must compatible to the donor’s heart to decrease the risk of getting post-surgical complication. In the U.S., United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) was established to provide services that are related to organ transplantation, including organ allocation, education for the public, policies development and so on. Besides, the survival rate of heart transplant keeps rising due to the advancement of biomedical technology from time to time. It is believed that heart transplant will bring great improvement to the patients’ lives. They would be able to enjoy the daily activities after the recovery period. There wer... ... middle of paper ... ...g immunosuppressant, recipients are required to take immunosuppressant for most of the cardiac transplant. 4.2 Cardiac xenotransplantation Cardiac xenotransplantation may improve the current shortage of transplantable hearts. Researchers still carrying research to study the mechanism of anti-Gal antibody and the elimination of α 1,3 galactose (αGal) carbohydrate antigen to reduce the risks of rejection of xeno-donors’ hearts). It is predicted that cardiac xenotransplantation may be an alternative of human heart transplant. On the other hand, there are some who oppose xenotransplantation based on principle of animal rights and some religious perspectives. Also the potential of recipients getting xenozoonosis still remains unknown. Researchers are trying to find out a solution to overcome antibody mediated rejection before proceed to clinical trial
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