Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How many heart transplant follow ups are necessary?"
Will they check up on me often? How will they check?
Heart transplantation is a very major surgery. After this surgery, you will be very weak and debilitated. Recovery of your strength and ability to function normally requires a long time, and you will need very close and intense followup with your doctors and with physical therapy for this. This therapy will begin in the hospital after your surgery and will continue either at home or in a rehabilitation facility. Additionally, a transplanted heart is foreign to your body. Therefore, in order to keep the body from rejecting it, it is required that you take multiple medicines to suppress your body's immune system for life. These medications can have toxic side effects and so their use and side effects and levels in the blood will need to be monitored very closely and frequently for the rest of your life. Additionally, you will also need to be monitored very closely and frequently for any signs that your body is rejected the heart transplant. In other words, although heart transplant is often successful and will improve your life immensely, it will require indefinite medical followup and frequent visits to see your cardiologist and other doctors and to the lab for blood tests.
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