Heart Transplant: From History To The Present!


The idea of replacing a bad organ with a good one has been documented in ancient mythology. The first real organ transplants were probably skin grafts that may have been done in India in the second century B.C. The first heart transplant of any animal is credited to Vladimir Demikhov. The first heart transplant in human beings was done in South Africa, but the patient only lived for 18 years. Most of the research that led to the successful heart transplant took place in the United States. Let us find out what is the actual process.

The top heart transplant doctors in India describe the process as a procedure of three operations:

1.       The first operation is harvesting the heart from the donor. The donor is usually an unfortunate person who has suffered irreversible brain injury, called brain death. Very often these are patients who have had a major trauma to the head. For example, in an auto mobile accident.

2.       The second operation is removing the recipient’s damaged heart. Removing the damaged heart maybe very easy or very difficult, depending on whether the recipient has had previous heart surgery (as is often the case). If there has been a previous surgery, cutting through the scar tissue may prolong and complicate removal of heart.

3.       The third operation is probably the easiest; implantation of the donor heart. Today, this operation basically involves the creation of only five lines of stitches, or anastomoses. These suture lines connect the large blood vessels entering and leaving the heart.

Although the procedure sounds complex and might get one worked up, but the fact is that there are heart transplant specialist in India present in abundance to take care of delicate situations like these. So when does a person need a heart transplant? Transplants cannot be performed in patients with active infection, cancer, or bad diabetes mellitus; patients who smoke or abuse alcohol are also not good candidates. All potential transplants patients must undergo psychological testing to identify social behavioural factors that could interface with recovery, compliance with medications, and lifestyle changes required after transplantation.

Now how would one know if the heart transplant surgery was a success or not? If the transplant was a success, the patient would not reject the donor’s heart. But, in case the following features are found in the patient after the surgery, then one could conclude that the heart transplant patient is rejecting the donor’s organ and probably developing an infection:

·         Weakness

·         Fatigue

·         Malaise (feeling lousy)

·         Fever and

·         Flu like symptoms, such as chills, headaches, dizziness, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting.


More specific symptoms of infection will vary greatly depending upon the site of infection within the body. Transplant patients who experience any of these findings need to seek medical attention immediately. Now that you exactly know all about a heart transplant, the procedure would be a quite clearer picture to all. I hope this article helps you find out all the answers to all of your queries.