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Heart Transplant
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Heart Transplant Side Effects and Warnings

Written by ColleenO, FoundHealth.

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a heart transplant, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Rejection of the new heart
  • Coronary artery disease (50% of all heart-transplant recipients develop coronary artery disease)
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Decreased brain function
  • Damage to other body organs, like the kidneys
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Anesthesia-related problems
  • Infection or cancer related to taking immunosuppressive medicines
  • Death

More than 80% of heart transplant patients live for at least one year after surgery. Most return to normal activities, including work and exercise.

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Age: 60 or older
  • Lung disease
  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Smoking
  • Presence of serious active infection, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis
  • Treatment for cancer within the past five years
  • Debilitation and malnourishment
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Previous stroke or other damage to the blood vessels of the brain
  • Continued substance abuse or alcohol abuse
  • Autoimmune disease

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the procedure.

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
  • Changes in sensation, movement, or circulation in your arms or legs
  • Changes in the location, type, or severity of pain
  • Chest pain, pressure, or a return of your previous heart pain
  • Fast or irregular heart rate
  • Pain that is unrelieved
  • Cough, or shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Sudden headache or feeling faint
  • Waking up at night due to being short of breath
  • Excessive tiredness, swelling of feet
  • Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine

In case of an emergency, call 911.



Posted 10 years ago

I had a heart transplant just over 12 mnths ago , would I recommend it?? I don,t know . If someone could guarantee that it would be straight forward I would , but i wished someone had told me what the side affects were and what could happen.I had the operation then the new heart stopped beating . so they had to operate to jump start it ,just when they started to relax, my blood pressure started to drop ,I was bleeding internally ,my husband was told to ring the family to say goodbye.Then they found the bleed , but my kydneys were failing so they had to put in a central line and put me on dyalisis, then my leg started to leak , and they realise when they used the echmo they had pierced my gland so I was attached to a vac machine designed to suck the fluid out of my leg and I was healed from the inside out . I had developed blood clots in my arm .I had diarrhea . On the up side I was kept in a coma for aweek i think .The upside to that was by the time I was out of the induced coma the scar had healed the downside was that I was rendered helpless I couldnt walk , I couldn,t feed myself I couldn't do anything for myself I had lost my taste .I was in the hospital for 3mnths . There were other complications .It has been along and frustrating recovery , but none the less I am getting there .The medications also give halucinations and muck you up emotionally still . Its taken 12 mnths to recover and now I am grateful for my new heart. So if you dont feel too grateful whilst you are going thru a traumatic experience don,t be too hard on yourself and don't let others make you feel guilty because you will be grateful in time .I am very grateful now I guess I always was but only now can I show it.

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Posted 10 years ago

I was transplanted 3 years ago with a new heart. I totally got "mucked up" by the meds and how some of my nurses treated me on a floor that had never had a post Heart Transplant patient. They couldn't pronounce my meds, let alone tell me what they were for! Now I'm physically fine and still stuck with anxiety, defensiveness....lots of negative emotional stuff. When I asked for help, the other heart transplant recipients in my 'support group' said they'd never had trouble like that and 'so sorry - good luck with that'. The DRs don't help either. What do I do now??

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Posted 10 years ago

if you are heart transplant?if there is a chance that you forget the past experience or you forget your loveonce????pls post your comment thank you :_)

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Posted 9 years ago

Is it possible to heart transplant to a pregnant women

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Posted 9 years ago

Since every surgical process has its pros and cons, so having a heart transplant has many pros and cons too. Although it can save your life, the most severe risk involved in this process is that your body rejects the donor’s heart. Rejection of organ could happen in the first few months and can show some signs and symptoms such as breath shortness, fever, sudden weight gain, unusual urination, problems in arteries etc. However, if you still want to get more detailed information about the whole process, then you can check out the information section of, where the professionals have explained everything in detail.

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