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For some people with severe damage to the heart there is no other option of the treatment than to hope a perfect match and get a new heart. That irreversible and serious heart damage might be caused by some long term heart diseases or heart infections. A person with the damaged heart might be transplanted a heart from a dead person, who donated his/hers organs after the death. There are also potential transplantations from the animals (known as xenotransplantation) or transplantation of artificial hearts. Risks of transplanting such an important organ from the animals are much greater than transplanting a human heart. There might be greater risk of non-compatibility of the tissue, rejection of the heart, but also a person with transplanted animal heart could develop some disease carried in that animal tissue.

Heart Transplant in the World

Disregarding the potential risks of this major surgery, heart transplant has saved lives of many people. The first successful transplant happened in the December 1967. Since then, every year, there have been over 3.500 heart transplant surgeries, which is more than 150.000 people with transplanted heart.According to the statistic data, there are many millions of people pledged to donate their organs (including their heart) after the death. More than 800.000 people all over the world have irreversible damage to their heart (class IV heart defect), making them perfect candidates for the heart transplant surgery. They are waiting for the organ that perfectly matches theirs and only some of them get the new heart.

Heart Transplant in the USA

Heart transplant surgery is highly developed in the United States (US). Every year, more than 2.000 of these surgeries are performed in the US. In most cases, more than 72% heart transplant patients were male, while there were about 27% of female heart transplant patients. The survival rate of these patients was slightly better for the male patients but not significantly. About 73% of men and 67% of women survived 5 years after the heart transplant surgery. The transplant was proven to be more successful if that was the same gender surgery. It means that the surgery was more successful if a man was transplanted with a man’s heart, or a woman got another woman’s heart. Statistics also reveal that these are usually patients over the age of 35, but mostly over 50 years of age. Heart transplant surgery is the third most popular surgical transplant in the US. Only kidney and liver transplant surgeries are more popular than the heart transplant, even though the costs of the heart transplantation may add up to 80.000 $ (USD).

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