Heart Transplant (cont.)
Michael C. Fishbein, MD
Dr. Fishbein received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Illinois. He completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Harbor General Hospital/UCLA Medical Center. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology.
In this Article
- Introduction to heart transplant
- What is a heart transplant?
- Who needs a heart transplant?
- What are the results of a heart transplant?
- What are the complications of a heart transplant?
- How does a heart transplant patient know if he or she is rejecting the donor organ or developing an infection?
- How is rejection of the organ diagnosed and monitored?
- Why aren't more heart transplants done?
- What is the future of heart transplant?
- Find a local Cardiothoracic Surgeon in your town
How does a heart transplant patient know if he or she is rejecting the donor organ or developing an infection?
This is not an easy question to answer because many of the symptoms and signs of rejection and infection are the same. These include:
- malaise (feeling lousy),
- fever, and
- "flu-like symptoms", such as chills, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting.
The more specific symptoms and signs of infection will vary greatly depending upon the site of infection within the body. Transplant patients who experience any of these findings need to seek medical attention immediately. The transplant physician will then do tests to determine whether the transplanted heart is functioning normally or not. If there is no evidence of rejection, a thorough search for infection will be performed so that the patient can be treated appropriately.
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