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Maternity and Children's Hospital
What is it for?
The purpose of the transplant is to implant a heart from another person (usually from a donor in a state of brain death) to take over the functions of the heart of the sick person. Sometimes, heart disease causes lung problems or vice versa: pulmonary disease can cause heart disease. In these cases, the heart and the lungs must be transplanted, which is called a "cardiopulmonary transplant". Depending on the type of illness, one or both organs will be transplanted, whatever offers the maximum benefit at the lowest risk.
Before the intervention, a team of professionals must study the patient following a clinical and surgical protocol in order to guarantee success.
The operation is performed under general anaesthesia. During the process of heart transplant, the sick heart is removed and in its place a new one is implanted. Sometimes, it is also necessary to transplant the lungs.
In order to perform these operations, a multidisciplinary team of highly specialised and experienced professionals is required, as well as advanced technology and appropriate facilities.
Post-operative care is handled by the Intensive Care Unit, where intensive doctors, cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and pulmonologists take care of the patient until they are stable, when they are then moved on to a conventional hospital ward.
During this process, the doctor indicates personalised immunosuppressive therapy programme and infection prevention to be followed by the patient, along with any appropriate modifications that might be needed during the post-operative period.