Living with a heart transplant
Find out what to expect after a heart transplant
- Once your heart function is stable, you should have more energy and be able to get back to your usual activities
- Eating well, keeping active and looking after yourself will help you recover
- It's important to remember that everyone's recovery is different
- Support is available if you or your loved ones are struggling or if you need to talk
Infections and heart transplants
Infections are very common immediately after a heart transplant, partly due to the medications.
Cardiac allograft vasculopathy
Cardiac allograft vasculopathy, or CAV, is a common yet potentially fatal condition that can affect transplanted hearts.
Rejection of the transplanted heart
Rejection is when your immune system starts to attack your transplanted heart. You'll be given medicines to prevent this.
Things to know
As the risk of infection is higher after a transplant, it’s important to have a flu jab every year. Please note, transplant patients must not have live vaccines (the flu jab is NOT a live vaccine). Your heart care team and your GP can tell you which vaccines are safe for you.
Screening for cancers and other diseases
The risks of cancer are higher in patients with a heart transplant than the general population. Please attend cancer screening programmes if you receive an invitation. The ones that are currently active in the UK are for breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer. Screening tests are also done for abdominal aortic aneurysms.