Patients receiving a heart transplant make a lifetime commitment to cardiac rehabilitation, lifestyle changes (such as measures to avoid excessive stress, maintain cardiovascular health, and prevent infection), and ongoing treatment (such as taking immunosuppressant medications to prevent rejection). Our specialists offer follow-up treatment, counseling, monitoring, and management to help patients recover and maintain cardiovascular health with their new heart.
After a transplant, a patient may be in the hospital for up to two weeks recovering from the operation itself. This is followed by several months of intensive monitoring, during which the patient returns to the hospital often for tests that look at cardiovascular health and make sure the body is not rejecting the new organ. These tests often include echocardiograms, blood draws, electrocardiograms, and samples of heart tissue taken through a catheter. The patient may also receive lung function testing, will need to take several medications, and continue to get annual tests to monitor their health.
It is often advisable for a person who has had a heart transplant to start a cardiac rehabilitation program and to receive counseling after this life-changing event. Temple’s integrated care team can ensure the patient receives assistance recovering, working through any physical or emotional issues, and improving their heart health.
The heart transplant team at Temple has a high degree of experience helping patients through the transplant recovery process, and we stay with our patients for the long-term to make sure they get all the support they need. A heart transplant is truly a second chance at life. We work together with our patients to ensure they can take full advantage of that opportunity.