Caring For Your Heart Transplant: Before & After

A heart transplant is a surgical procedure to remove the diseased heart from a person and replace it with a healthy one from an organ donor. Due to its complexity, the surgery requires several hours to perform and several weeks for a full recovery.

There is always the risk of complication after any surgery, but for a heart transplant surgery, we closely monitor patients for an extended period of time. A patient’s hospital stay can require anywhere from seven to fourteen days before release. Post surgery, patients will be monitored closely in the intensive care unit (ICU) for several days. During this time, patients and their new heart will be closely monitored by physicians and nurses. As their condition improves, patients are then moved to a regular hospital room for the remainder of their stay where they will remain under close observation and begin physical therapy.

After leaving the hospital, patients will require multiple weekly checkups to ensure the success of the procedure. To help prevent rejection, patients will need to take medicines for the rest of their life to suppress their immune system and help prevent their body’s rejection of the new heart. During checkups, doctors will perform tests to track the conditions of the new heart, the success of the prescribed medicine, and the overall recovery of the patient.

As a patient’s new heart adjusts to their body and their overall health returns, physicians will gradually allow patients to return to their day-to-day routines while monitoring the intake of prescribes medications.

Patient Stories

  • When it was determined that Peter had end-stage heart failure but otherwise in reasonably good health, his name was added to the heart transplant list.

    Peter
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  • Your life is up in the air but, this time things were a little easier because I knew what I was in for,” she said. “I was speechless at the miracle of getting a match in just nine days.”

    Kathy
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Patient Stories

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Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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RWJ University Hospital New Brunswick
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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Heart and Lung Specialty Center at Toms River
780 Route 37
Suite 120
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 341-2308
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