Monday, July 18, 2011


You may need an organ transplant if one of your own organs has failed. This can happen because of illness or injury. When you have an organ transplant, doctors remove an organ from another person and place it in your body. The organs that can be transplanted include Heart Intestine Kidney Liver Lung Pancreas People who need an organ transplant often have to wait a long time for one. Doctors must match donors to recipients to reduce the risk of transplant rejection. This is when the recipient's body turns against the new organ, causing it to fail. People who have transplants must take drugs the rest of their lives to help keep their bodies from rejecting the new organ.

What is an organ transplant?
An organ transplant replaces a failing organ with a healthy organ. A doctor will remove an organ from another person and place it in your body. This may be done when your organ has stopped working or stopped working well because of disease or injury. Not all organs can be transplanted. Organs most often transplanted include: The kidney , because of diabetes , polycystic kidney disease , lupus , or other problems. The liver , because of cirrhosis , which has many causes. The heart , because of coronary artery disease , cardiomyopathy , heart failure , and other heart problems. The pancreas , because of diabetes . The lung , because of cystic fibrosis , COPD , and other problems. The small intestine , because of short bowel syndrome caused by necrotizing enterocolitis , Crohn's disease , and other problems. An intestine transplant is sometimes an option if you have problems with total parenteral nutrition (TPN) . More than one organ can be transplanted at one time. For example, a heart and lung transplant is possible. Not everyone is a good candidate for an organ transplant . Your doctor or a transplant center will do tests to see if you are. You probably are not a good candidate if you have an infection, heart disease that is not under control, a drug or alcohol problem , or another serious health problem. If your tests show you are a good candidate, you are put on a waiting list. It may be days, months, or years before a transplant takes place.

How successful is an organ transplant?
Organ transplants have been done in the United States since the 1950 s. The procedure is always improving, and transplants are more successful today than ever before. Organ transplant success depends on: Which organ is transplanted. How many organs are transplanted. For example, you could have a heart transplant or a heart and lung transplant. The disease that has caused your organ to fail.

How do you prepare for an organ transplant?
First, you'll need to have blood and tissue tests done that will be used to match you with a donor. This is because your immune system may see the new organ as foreign and reject it. The more matches you have with the donor, the more likely your body will accept the donor organ. You'll need to take care of your health. Continue to take your medicines as prescribed and get regular blood tests. Follow your doctor’s directions for eating and exercising . You also may want to talk with a psychiatrist , psychologist , or licensed mental health counselor about your transplant. To learn more about what happens, talk to someone who has had a transplant. Your transplant center or doctor can give you the name of someone who is willing to share his or her experience with you.

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