A heart transplant is needed when all other medical procedure fails to restore the normal functioning of the heart. The medical procedure includes all types of medication and surgeries. Usually a person who is suffering from congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, heart valve damage, or life threatening arrhythmias can undergo heart transplantation. There are, however, certain medical conditions that prohibit heart transplantation. If the person is suffering from liver, lung or kidney disease, then the person is not a qualified candidate for a heart transplant. A person having insulin dependent diabetes or high pulmonary vascular resistance is also advised against the transplant. Apart from these, generally the transplant recipient should not be more than 60 years of age, and should be added to alcohol or other illicit drugs.
Heart transplantation is not cheap and an ordinary person may never be able to afford it. An average heart transplant cost can touch anywhere from $ 750,000 to $ 790,000. This also includes the cost of the donor heart, which can be a whopping $ 90,000. Besides this there are certain other costs which the patient has to bear. Expenses such as prolonged hospitalization, drugs, tests and examinations can add up to the total cost of the transplant.
A person undergoing a heart transplant has to stay in the hospital for 1 month before the surgery is actually carried out. This is basically done to prepare the patient for the transplant. Once the transplant is done, the patient requires post-operative care in the intensive care unit. The post-operative care can sometimes extend to 6 months to a year, depending on how the person is accepting and accepting the transplanted heart. This can add another $ 100,000 to the total cost of the transplant. The recipient will also be given immunosuppressive drugs on a regular basis to avoid organ rejection problems. These drugs can further lead to problems of infections since the immune system gets compromised because of the drugs. Here, more cost will be added to treat the secondary infection, if any. Also, immunosuppressants are expensive on their own.
The expense does not stop here. There are many other additional factors that can have direct impact on the cost of a heart transplant. Chances of complications after the transplant, expenses related to the use of anesthesia, surgeons' fees, charges of prolonged hospital stays, time spent in intensive care unit should also be included while estimating the cost. Post transplant tests and routine examination are mandatory and come with a huge cost. Once the heart transplant is transported out successfully, these are the important procedures that have to be done to ascertain the life expectancy after the transplant.
For a person who is lying on the deathbed the cost for a heart transplant is certainly very disturbing and annoying. Neverheless, one must not give up. Financial support from family members and friends can help the patient lead a normal life after the transplant. There are many different ways of raising funds to meet the expenses of the surgery. Some not-for-profit organizations also help people financially. So, it would be worth contacting them.