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Heart transplant surgery done. What will be the lifespan?

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Practicing since : 1981
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hi, my boyfriend just had a heart transplant surgery few months ago, and he told me the doctor said he could live until he's 60. He's 22 now that means he still has 38 years more. However, i read the newspaper and books, they said the person who lived longest after heart transplant surgery just lived until he was 51. I'm really confused. Can you tell me how long can he live? And after the surgery, he passed out many times, is there any problem with him?
Posted Sun, 15 Jul 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Anil Grover 3 hours later
Thanks for writing in.
This gave the chance for heart care magic to review a rather rare topic: Heart Transplant.
I am a cardiologist I read your mail with interest and searched the literature. Last comprehensive study had been done at least 4 years ago and much water has flown in river Hudson since then. Medical science is continuing to make more advances.
The prognosis for heart transplant patients following the orthotopic procedure has greatly increased over the past 20 years, and as of May 30, 2008, the survival rates were as follows.
* 1 year: 87.5% (males), 85.5% (females)
* 3 years: 78.8% (males), 76.0% (females)
* 5 years: 72.3% (males), 67.4% (females)
In a November 2008 study conducted on behalf of the U.S. federal government by Dr. XXXXXXX Weiss of the Johns XXXXXXX University School of Medicine, it was discovered that heart transplants- all other factors being accounted for- work better in same-sex transplants (male to male, female to female). However, due to the present acute shortage in donor hearts, this may not always be feasible.
As of the end of 2007, XXXXXXX Huesman is the world's longest living heart transplant patient, having survived for 29 years with a transplanted heart. Huesman received a heart in 1978 at the age of 20 after viral pneumonia severely weakened his heart. The operation was performed at Stanford University under American heart transplant pioneer Dr. XXXXXXX Shumway, who continued to perform the operation in the U.S. after others abandoned it due to poor results.. Another noted heart transplant recipient, XXXXXXX Perkins, climbs mountains around the world to promote positive awareness of organ donation. Perkins is the first heart transplant recipient to climb to the peaks of Mt. Fuji, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Matterhorn, Mt. XXXXXXX and Cajon de Arenales in Argentina in 2007, 12 years after her transplant surgery. XXXXXXX Kroening is yet another noted recipient promoting positive awareness for organ donation. Twenty two years after his heart transplant, he is the first to finish an Ironman competition. XXXXXXX Coote was the second Australian to receive a heart transplant in 1984 (at age 14) and the youngest Australian. At 24 years since her transplant she is also a long term survivor and is involved in publicity and XXXXXXX work for the red cross, and promoting organ donation in Australia.
Drugs that prevent transplant rejection must be taken for the rest of the patient's life. Such medications will lower the immunity against infections.
A major risk from heart transplant is rejection of the donor heart, .- You may be on immunosuppressants (anti rejection medications) to prevent this. The immunosuppressants actually suppress your body's ability to fight infections, besides it's main function to prevent rejection. An infection can trigger a rejection. But you can take care of this in the following ways -

1) Have regular dental checkups and maintain good dental hygiene as your mouth
is a potential source of infection because so many bacteria and fungi are
normally present there.
2) Do not smoke
3) Avoid lifting weights for at least 10 weeks
4) Drink clean water (boiled/ filtered)
5) Eat well. Eat hygienically prepared food (preferably home food). Avoid as far as
possible, eating from outside
6) Exercise - as advised by your doc

Most important! - Think positive and be cheerful. Even infections can be kept at bay with a positive attitude.

Wish you all the Best of Health for your boy friend and good luck to both of you.

It was pleasure talking about you. You spread positive vibes which other patients also need.

If there is any specific question I can answer, I will be most happy to do that.

Dr Anil Grover, Cardiologist
M.B.;B.S, M.D. (Internal Medicine) D.M.(Cardiology)
http://www/ WWW.WWWW.WW
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