Early risks of a heart transplant

This looks at problems that could occur in the days or weeks following a heart transplant

Key points

  • All surgical procedures have some risks. Transplants also have the risk of your body rejecting the new organ
  • Each patient is unique and risks differ on a case-by-case basis
  • For a heart transplant, risks are categorised as very common, common, uncommon or rare
  • It’s important to remember that your heart doctor will only recommend a heart transplant if they think that the benefits outweigh the risks for you

What happens in the early days after a heart transplant?

The first few days and weeks after a heart transplant are an important time. Almost all transplanted hearts are supported with intravenous medicines immediately after surgery. This support is gradually decreased and discontinued over the first week.

What could go wrong early on?

Some patients might experience complications or problems either during the operation or in the days or weeks following a heart transplant.

This page looks at early risks for the ‘average’ patient, however every patient is different. Your heart care team will discuss your personal risks with you.

Very common early risks

These affect more than 10 in 100 patients

Common early risks

These affect between 1 in 100 and 10 in 100 patients

Rare early risks

These affect fewer than 1 in 1000 of patients

Other early risks

All risks vary from patient to patient, but some risks change significantly on a case-by-case basis

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