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Organ Transplant Surgery

How does organ transplant surgery work?

Organ transplant surgery is performed when an individual's organ is not functioning at all or at a high enough level to keep them alive for any length of time. Once the doctor has determined that the person's particular organ needs to be replaced, the person must get registered with a transplant center. The transplant center will then do a complete medical work up on the individual in order to put them in a position on the waiting list. In some cases the person may be lucky enough to have a relative who is willing to donate an organ to them. If this is the case, they need to be tested for compatibility.

Organs that can be transplanted

If a person is at the point where they need a heart transplant, they will probably have to be on some apparatus to assist their heart until a suitable match is found. Heart transplants are very tricky because the donor must be someone who has been declared brain dead, but who is still on life support. The heart must also be a close tissue match, so it will not be rejected by the recipient. Heart transplants have been quite successful in prolonging life. After 12 months, the survival rate for men is 88%, and for women is 77%.

When an individual is at the point of kidney failure, they require a kidney transplant. This is the most common organ transplant in the US. A person needs one healthy kidney to live. This may be donated by a living blood relative, a living non-relative, or a person who has recently died but had no kidney problems who is a blood and tissue match. A healthy kidney can stay viable for 48 hours in salt water. The actual kidney transplant surgery takes about three hours.

The liver transplant is the second most common type of organ transplant surgery performed in the United States. In general, donor livers come from people who have died. However, it is possible for a living person to donate part of their liver. Donating part of a liver is most common when the recipient is a child, since children's livers are in short supply. A person who is in need of a new liver will be put on a transplant list and ranked according to need. After the surgery, the patient will spend a few days in the hospital. After leaving the hospital, they will be monitored carefully over several months, to make sure there are no problems, such as rejection of the liver.

Hair Transplants

When hair loss and thinning hair becomes a problem, many men, and some women, choose to have hair transplants. A hair transplant involves moving hair from one place where it grows well to another place where it has stopped growing well. If it is done properly, a hair transplant can produce lifelong results in just one session. The most common method of transplant is called follicular unit transplants. This involves taking areas of hair and redistributing it so that it will grow in the same direction it naturally would. Tissue from between the hair must be removed, so there won't be any spaces between the sections of hair. This leaves a more natural look.

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