Reasons, Procedure & Life Expectancy of a Pediatric Heart Transplant

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

During the process of development, there is always a chance that some defect might affect the growing fetus. This may occur because of some genetic abnormality with respect to the combination of genes from the parents of the child. This may also occur as a result of a lack of nutrition or because of some event that takes place during the development of the child. Heart defects are particularly difficult to treat as they often require heart transplant therapy.

With the advent of more modern technology, a pediatric heart transplant has become relatively commonplace. The pediatric heart transplant procedure aims to provide the child with a healthy heart. The aim of this procedure is to ensure that the child has a life that is as normal as possible. The first few days and weeks after a pediatric heart transplant are absolutely crucial when it comes to determining if the patient's body has accepted the donor's heart or not. Once these first few weeks pass, it is safe to say that the pediatric heart transplant procedure has been successful. Beyond this, there are many circumstances that may contribute to improved life expectancy. Most people comfortably pass the five year period after their transplants. In some cases, the pediatric heart transplant procedure has added a few decades to the life of the patient. Therefore, it is difficult to give accurate pediatric heart transplant statistics when it comes to pediatric heart transplant life expectancy. Normally, if the patient has no other serious medical conditions, then it can be assumed that there will be a significant addition to the life expectancy of the patient by using a pediatric heart transplant surgery.

Each individual pediatric heart transplant procedure is different because of the inherent complexity of the blood vessel systems around the heart. These veins and arteries need to be individually connected to the donor heart. Adjustments will need to be made to ensure that the donor heart suits the body of the recipient. Pediatric heart transplant survival rates depend a lot on the type of medical care received by the child in the aftermath of the procedure. Another important aspect of pediatric heart transplant is the fact that the pediatric heart transplant survival rates tend to be much higher when the procedure is done earlier in the life of the infant. This is because the body of the infant adjusts to the heart as it develops and the acceptance tends to be more complete. It would also be a good thing to check on the different pediatric heart transplant centers and chose one that will be most suitable to you.

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