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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Complete cardiac transplant


Ever wondered what heart transplant surgery really looks like? Watch this. But be warned, this is graphic content and not for the... faint of heart. 
Almost half a century ago, the world’s first heart transplant was performed in South Africa in 1967. The following year, Australia’s first heart transplant was performed by Dr Harry Windsorat St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. 
According to the Heart Foundation, the procedure usually takes between three and six hours, and will be one of two types of transplant operations. An orthotopic heart transplant is the most common type (as seen above), and this involves removing the diseased heart from the body through an incision made in the middle of the chest. A donor heart is then placed inside.
Under rare circumstances, selected patients can undergo heterotopic heart transplants, which allow the donor heart to piggy-back onto the existing heart. Double hearts are a good solution for patients with heart problems that cause them to have extremely high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, which is the blood vessel that transport the blood from the heart to the lungs. The pressure that builds up because of this can cause the heart muscle to be weakened - a condition known as cardiomyopathy. If a patient is approved for a heterotopic heart transplant, the donor heart acts as an extra pump to help out the patient's weakened heart.