Patients with chronic heart failure may be candidates for heart transplant. Heart transplant can be an excellent option for improving quality of life for individuals under the age of 65 who suffer from advanced heart problems. If you think you may be a candidate for heart transplant, first consider whether you fit the following four heart transplant characteristics.
Other Treatment Options Have Been Exhausted
Heart transplant will never be the first treatment tried with a patient. Rather, patients only become candidates for heart transplant if all other treatments have been tried without resolving the symptoms of heart failure.
Transplant Is Essential for Survival
Heart transplant should only be considered if the patient is likely to suffer from urgent, life-threatening heart events or conditions without the benefits of a transplant.
Patient Is in Good General Health
Aside from heart conditions, patients considering a heart transplant should be in good overall health. Candidates for heart transplant should not suffer from additional medical conditions that may interfere with an optimal recovery from surgery.
Patient Is Committed to Necessary Post-Operational Lifestyle Changes
In addition to the above characteristics, heart transplant patients must be fully committed to adjusting certain aspects of their lifestyle and maintaining these changes following their surgery. These changes will come at the recommendation of your cardiologist, and may include undergoing cardiovascular rehabilitation, adopting a heart healthy diet, taking ongoing medications, refraining from tobacco and alcohol use, and lowering your cholesterol levels.
Patients who meet the above criteria can experience excellent improvements in life expectancy, day-to-day comfort and overall quality of life as a result of a heart transplant. As always, a case-by-case assessment of each individual’s health and treatment history will be needed for a cardiologist to properly determine candidacy for a heart transplant.