Heart transplant surgery


Find out what happens during the transplant operation

Key points

  • Heart transplant surgery lasts around 4-6 hours
  • You will be put to sleep under a general anaesthetic while the transplant takes place
  • Donor hearts are transplanted in the same place in your chest as your old heart
  • The operation can be performed a variety of ways, which will depend on your needs and the preference of the transplant surgeon

How is heart transplant surgery performed?

Donor hearts are transplanted in the same place in your chest as your old heart. This involves the removal of the diseased heart and replacement with the donor heart.

Example of a surgical heart transplant technique 

A transplant operation

After you have been put to sleep under anaesthetic, the surgery will begin.

You will be attached to a heart-lung bypass machine, which takes over the function of the heart and lungs and delivers oxygen to the body.

The entire operation takes around 4-6 hours.

Some things that might happen during your heart transplant surgery

More information

Medical terms explained

Biopsy

This is when a very small piece of tissue is taken for analysis. It is used to diagnose rejection.

View all medical terms



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