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Organ Transplant


Overview



What is an organ transplant ?

An organ transplant replaces a failing organ with a healthy organ. A doctor will remove an organ from another person and place it in your body. This may be done when your organ has stopped working or stopped working well because of disease or injury.

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Not all organs can be transplanted. Organs most often transplanted include : -

  • The kidney , because of diabetes, polycystic kidney disease, lupus, or other problems.
  • The heart , because of coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and other heart problems.
  • The lung , because of cystic fibrosis, COPD, and other problems.
  • The pancreas , because of diabetes.
  • The liver , because of cirrhosis, which has many causes.
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Cornea Transplant
  • Cord Blood Cell Transplant


More than one organ can be transplanted at one time. For example, a heart and lung transplant is possible.

Not everyone is a good candidate for an organ transplant. Your doctor or a transplant center will do tests to see if you are. You probably are not a good candidate if you have an infection, heart disease that is not under control, a drug or alcohol problem, or another serious health problem. If your tests show you are a good candidate, you are put on a waiting list. It may be days, months, or years before a transplant takes place.

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How successful is an organ transplant ?

The procedure is always improving, and transplants are more successful today than ever before. Organ transplant success depends on : -
  • Which organ is transplanted.
  • How many organs are transplanted. For example, you could have a heart transplant or a heart and lung transplant.
  • The disease that has caused your organ to fail.


How do you prepare for an organ transplant ?

First, you'll need to have blood and tissue tests done that will be used to match you with a donor. This is because your immune system may see the new organ as foreign and reject it. The more matches you have with the donor, the more likely your body will accept the donor organ. You'll need to take care of your health. Continue to take your medicines as prescribed and get regular blood tests. Follow your doctor's directions for eating and exercising. You also may want to talk with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or licensed mental health counselor about your transplant.


Heart Failure and Heart Transplants

Once a patient is diagnosed with severe heart disease that will lead to Heart Failure, a patient may be considered for a Heart Transplant. While waiting for a transplant, a patient may have need surgery to place an LVAD, a balloon pump or another Device to Temporarily Improve Heart Function.


Kidney Failure, Dialysis and Kidney Transplants

Kidney patients are one of the few types of transplant recipients who can receive treatment that replaces the function of the organ that is damaged. Causes of Kidney Failure vary, but Dialysis allows patients in kidney failure to tolerate the wait for a organ. Kidney transplants are by far the most commonly needed and transplanted organ, with over 70,000 people currently waiting for a new kidney.


Diabetes and Pancreas Transplants

The most common reason for a pancreas transplant is Type 1 Diabetes that is difficult to manage and control. In some patients, insulin, diet and exercise does not control blood glucose levels, regardless of how diligent the patient is in following the doctor's instructions. For these patients, a Pancreas Transplant may be the only solution. In fact, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to kidney damage, so a pancreas transplant may actually prevent the need for a kidney transplant in the future.


Liver Disease and Liver Transplants

Hepatitis, Alcoholism Induced Cirrhosis and idiopathic (non-alcoholic) cirrhosis, are among the leading causes of liver failure. For these conditions and many others that cause liver failure, a Liver Transplant is often the only option for treatment.

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Lung Disease and Lung Transplants

COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is the most common disease process that leads to lung failure and the need for a Lung Transplant. Lung transplant patients may receive only one lung, or with some conditions such as cystic fibrosis, two lungs may be transplanted.


Multivisceral Organ Transplants

A multivisceral organ transplant is a type of transplant surgery that includes more than one organ, such as a Heart/Lung Transplants, a heart/kidney transplant or a kidney/pancreas transplant. In pediatric patients, multivisceral transplants are typically heart/lung or a combination that includes a small intestine transplant.


After an Organ Transplant

Coping After an Organ Transplant isn't always easy, even though the long awaited organ transplant has finally happened. There are worries about Organ Rejection, the side effects of transplant medications like Gout and weight gain. There are also very emotional topics like writing the family of the organ donor and considering the future of beloved pets.





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