heart transplant aftercare

Heart Transplant Aftercare / A Journey to Recovery

Table of Contents

Heart transplant, an advanced treatment method, is used for people who have heart diseases and need heart transplants and replacement due to the inability of conventional treatment. 

In a heart transplant, the damaged or weakened heart muscle is replaced with the healthy heart of another person. 

Related: “Complications Of Bone Marrow Transplant

heart transplant 00121212

Why and How?

  A heart transplant is a major surgery; with proper care, the patient’s chances of survival are high.

In adults, heart failure may be caused by the following:

  • Heart muscle weakness (cardiomyopathy)
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • A heart problem you were born with (congenital heart defect)
  • Frequent and dangerous abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmia) not controlled by other treatments.
  • Previous heart transplant failure


In children also:

  • Heart failure is mainly caused by congenital heart defects or cardiomyopathy.


This process makes it possible to strengthen the heart and improve its performance. Similarly, in a heart transplant operation, the surgeon replaces the healthy heart donated by another person with the heart of a sick or injured person.

In order to increase the life expectancy after a heart transplant, you should follow the post-heart transplant care that the doctor tells you.

If a person suffers from acute heart failure or diseases that various medical methods cannot improve and the patient’s health is at risk, the best and last treatment method is a heart transplant.

In order to perform the heart transplant operation, various tests are taken from the patient to check the level of physical health, as well as the history of underlying diseases, and the blood group is determined.

Finding a donor option that matches the patient’s blood condition is essential in this surgery. This donated heart is selected from people who have suffered brain death.

During the operation, the person goes to complete anesthesia, the chest is split, and the defective heart is removed from the body. 

Moreover, after that, blood flow is established with the heart and lung bypass machine, the donated heart replaces the removed heart, and the blood vessels Are connected to it. After that, the chest is closed.

Related: “What Are The Risks Of A Pancreas Transplant?

Post-heart transplant care

After the heart transplant operation, the heart recipient must be under hospital supervision for seven days. In these first 24 hours, it is essential that the body does not reject the heart and does not have complications.

You must visit your specialist doctor regularly for a checkup and perform blood tests, X-rays, or ECG tests.

Related: “What Are Whooping Cough’s Early Symptoms

Points to follow for care after heart transplant:

  • Do the exercises and sports prescribed by your doctor regularly.
  • Do not be in crowded and noisy places because sudden noise is harmful to the heart.
  • After heart transplant surgery, see a nutritionist to write a proper nutrition plan.
  • Taking the medicines the doctor prescribes at the specified time is very important.
  • Diet after a heart transplant directly affects your life expectancy. Low-fat and low-salt foods are the most important things you should follow.
  • Do not touch cigarettes or hookah because the contents of cigarettes have a direct negative effect on the heart. Strictly follow this and take it seriously.
Heart Transplant Aftercare / A Journey to Recovery 01

Nutritional recommendations after heart transplant surgery:

  • High consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Adopt a low-salt diet.
  • Eating lean meats, such as fish or chicken
  • Drink eight glasses of water and enough fluids throughout the day.
  • Adding wholemeal bread, cereals, and other legumes to the diet
  • Avoiding unhealthy fats, saturated fats, and trans fats
  • Avoid consumption of grapefruit and grapefruit juice due to the effect of immunosuppressive drugs.


Nutritional recommendations after heart transplant surgery

What is the most critical time after a heart transplant?

Here we talk about the risks of a heart transplant:

  • Types of infections: Infections at the surgical site or other body parts can also be problems after heart transplant surgery.
  • Bleeding and blood loss: The patient may need to bleed or lose blood after surgery.
  • Kidney problems: Due to the use of anti-stress drugs, the kidneys may be compromised, and kidney problems may occur.
  • Blood clots in the veins and heart: This complication is known as thrombosis. Thrombosis can occur in any vein in the body, but it is most common in the deep veins of the legs, lungs, and heart.
  • Transplant rejection: One of the risks after any organ transplant operation is the possibility of organ rejection; that is, the body considers the new organ a foreign agent or attacks it and rejects it.

After the organ transplant operation, the patient should be given immunosuppressive drugs so that he accepts the organ. 

Regular examination of the transplanted organ by a doctor is critical. Rejection of the transplant is usually asymptomatic, and tissue biopsy should be done repeatedly in a year. 

For a biopsy, a tube is sent to the heart through the groin veins or neck veins, and some of the heart tissue is removed and sent to the laboratory for more examination.

Related: “Can Parkinson’s Dementia Kill You?

types of heart diseases

How long does it take to recover after a heart transplant?

The percentage of heart transplant success depends on various factors, and it is not possible to determine a fixed number for it. 

This percentage of success varies according to each patient’s condition and doctors’ experience. 

The success rate of heart transplant surgery depends on the age of the patient, the general health of the patient, the experience and skill of the heart transplant surgeon, the environment and equipment of the hospital, and the strict adherence to post-operative instructions.

The success rate of heart transplants worldwide is over 85% after one year and 69% for adults after five years, which is excellent compared to the natural course of end-stage heart problems. 

The first year after heart transplant surgery is the most important in heart transplant success rate.

Related: “What Is The Difference Between Intermittent, Remittent, And Relapsing Fever?

Heart Transplant Aftercare / A Journey to Recovery 02


If you had heart surgery and your surgery was successful, now it is your turn to get your recovery and health as quickly as possible by following the necessary care after heart surgery. 

The first stage of heart surgery reconstruction can take 6 to 8 weeks. When you leave the hospital, you will receive post-operative care instructions. 

These recipes and necessary care after heart surgery will help you recover better physically and emotionally. 

Depression, anorexia, excitement, fear, lack of concentration, and impatience are normal after heart surgery. These symptoms will gradually disappear within two months.

Share in :
Explore More In Heart
What Is The Easiest Way To Treat A Fever?
10 Signs Of Heart Failure That You Should Not Ignore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Author and specialist

Dr. Majid Zahrabi,


  • Board Certified Neurosurgeon
  • DHA certificate holder
  • Plantation certificate holder, France
  • Certified holder of Discogol, France
  • A pioneer in the non-surgical treatment of disc herniation in the Middle East and CIS countries.
  • Under the training and coaching of Professor Jacques Theron (founder of Discogel Therapy) since 2008
  • More than 400 successful cervical and 1300 lumbar discogel injections
  • Trained and certified several neurosurgeons and spine surgeons in the Middle East and CIS countries for the treatment of Discogel
  • Strong belief in patient-centered care planning and participation
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Imam Khomeini and Amir Mazandarani Hospital, Sari, Iran, with more than 430 surgeries annually, 2000-2011
  • Neurosurgeon and spine surgeon at Farmaniyeh, Nikan and Yas Sepid Hospital, Tehran, Iran, with more than 400 surgeries annually, 2011-2012
  • Neurosurgeon at Iranian Hospital, Dubai, 2022-2023
  • Since 2015, he has been working as a reference doctor for the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with Discogel and has trained many doctors of spine-related specialties in various countries of the Middle East and CIS in person/practically and online.



  • Individual training sessions under the direct supervision of Professor Jacques Theron in Discogel treatment, 2008-2020
  • Training sessions under the supervision of Professor Thierry Boye on spinal implants, 2007
  • Participation and presentation in several national and international medical and neuro-spinal conferences
  • Board certificate by Iran Neurosurgery Board, 2001
  • Neurosurgery assistant training course, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, 1996-2001 (In 2001, he graduated from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences with the first rank in the country.
  • His thesis the titled:The Application of human amniotic membrane in repair of dura matter in dogs.” ( It was happening for the first time in the world. )
  • General medical education, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, 1984-1993


Published books:

  • CT scan of the brain for doctors
  • Etiology and treatment of painful spine disorders
  • Atlas of diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of spine disorders
  • The most common mistakes in the treatment of spinal disorders
  • Reading brain CT scan in simple language (3rd place in the book of the year)
  • Treatment of head and spine injuries

Publications and articles:

  • Bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of DISCOGEL® (https://www.researchgate.net/)
  • Muscle recovery, reduction of pain, and improvement of movement strategies in patients with lumbar discopathy after injection of Discogel.
  • The article on the initial results of the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection, which won the second-best poster rank at the Pan Arab International Congress of Interventional Radiology (March 14-16, 2015) and was accepted for presentation at the Chicago Pain Congress.
  • The use of human amniotic membrane in dura mater repair in dogs, a study for the first time in the world.



  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2019
  • Chicago International Pain Congress, 2019
  • Iran International Pain Management Congress, 2018
  • Annual Congress of Physiotherapists of Iran, 2018
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Armenia for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2017
  • First Live Workshop and Seminar on Minimally Invasive Disc Therapy (DISCON), 2017
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Azerbaijan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • Seminar of Iranian official managers, 2016
  • Presentation of Discogel as an innovative solution for the treatment of spinal disc herniation in Tajikistan for orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons, 2016
  • International Neurological Intervention Congress in Iran, 2014
  • Educational seminar for nurses on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Educational seminar for general practitioners on treatment approaches for head and spine trauma, 2014
  • Speech at the Retraining Seminar for General Practitioners and Specialists in Dubai (Discon) in 2017
  • Speech in the internal retraining courses of Irani Hospital, Dubai
  • Holding lecture sessions and practical workshops on the treatment of intervertebral disc herniation with discogel injection in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Oman, and Armenia during the years 2015 to 2021.
  • Giving a lecture and holding a practical workshop for neurosurgeons in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh City University in 2023

Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.