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It is a life-saving surgical procedure, where an organ is transplanted from a donor (dead or living) to a recipient who is in need of it. If successful, it significantly improves the quality of a patient’s life. Recovery and healing depend upon the type of organ transplant, a number of transplants, general health, and age of the patient. Usually, immunosuppressive drugs are prescribed to combat the patient’s own immune system to fight the rejection of transplant by it.

Organ transplantation is the surgical removal of an organ from one person (known as the donor, can be living or dead) and its transplantation into another person (recipient) who is in need due to any disease or injury.

Organs that can be donated are:

  • Eyes
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine
  • Bone marrow


It has three requirements:

  1. Medical integrity
  2. Scientific validity
  3. Consent


  • Recovery after an organ transplant surgery varies from case to case. It depends upon the type of organ transplant, previous medical history, and patient’s systemic health. In most cases, an organ transplant significantly improves a patient’s quality of life, but he/she is also likely to face big health challenges, with major lifestyle changes.
  • After an organ transplant, the patient will need to have immunosuppressant (anti-rejection) drugs. These drugs help prevent the patient’s immune system from rejecting the donor organ and are usually prescribed for the lifetime of an individual.
  • After an organ transplant surgery, it is important to go for regular follow-ups and go for recommended lab tests.
  • In cases where the doctor detects early signs of rejection of the transplanted organ, the doctor usually changes the salt of immunosuppressive drugs or changes its dose.

Short term side-effects associated with an organ transplant, which are mostly due to the immunosuppressive drugs,  are Hair growth or hair loss, Acne, Mood swings, Round face, Enlarged gums ( gingival enlargement ), weight gain. These usually go off when the dose of the drug is tapered-off.

  • After an organ transplant, the patient has to take good care of self. If the patient is suffering from any other systemic disease such as hypertension and diabetes, he or she must take his/her medication regularly as these diseases play a vital role in recovery and healing.
  • A patient should avoid other unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol consumption and smoking.
  • A patient must follow a balanced diet, regular exercise and stress management.

Symptoms of transplant rejection may vary but the common signs include excessive pain at the site of the transplant, feeling unwell, Flu-like symptoms, Fever, unexplained weight changes, swelling, change in heart rate, urinating less often.

Immunosuppressant drugs usually block the effects of natural defense mechanisms to allow the body to live in harmony with a foreign donor organ, hence by blocking the body’s immune defenses, the patient becomes more vulnerable to infections.

Due to these challenges patient after an organ transplant is vulnerable for a long period of time.

Living Donor: A living donor could be an immediate family member like parents, brother or sister. Renewable cells, fluid or tissues, and organs such as small bowel, a partial part of hepatic tissue (liver) and a single renal (kidney) can be donated by living persons.

Deceased Donor (cadaveric): Those patients who have been declared brain dead are kept in ventilators, till the time their organs can be donated for transplantation.

Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow is a spongy tissue, which contains stem cells; these stem cells further differentiate into blood cells. Bone marrow transplant is a surgical process in which damaged or defective bone marrow is replaced with healthy bone marrow stem cells.

Heart Transplant

A heart transplant is a surgery to replace a damaged heart with a healthy heart. It is performed on patients with end-stage coronary artery disease or heart failure. A heart transplant is an indication for patients with cardiac surgery failures.

Kidney Transplant/renal transplant

It is a surgical procedure for the replacement of the non-functional kidney with a healthy kidney as kidneys are vital for the proper functioning of the body.