Heart Biopsy

This procedure is used to check for rejection
One of my heart biopsies taking place

First your most important question, does it hurt?
No! not at all.

What is a heart biopsy for?
This is one of the main ways to check for rejection.

As you can see there are three staff members involved, the doctor, E.C.G. technician and a radiograph operator. You lay on your back and then turn your head to the left, the doctor then gives you a local anesthetic in the neck (small injection). He then makes a small incision in your neck, then has to thread a small wire down your vein to the heart. He removes a small piece of the heart with the end of the wire (in total he needs four small pieces). When the wire is removed, he presses on the incision to make sure it doesn’t bleed (for about one minute). Puts a plaster on it and that’s it off you go 15/20min later.

The small pieces of heart are then sent to the laboratory to be tested for rejection, you normally get the result within 24 hours. 

This procedure is first done two weeks after transplant, then once a week for six weeks. All being well and no rejection being found you then have your biopsies every two weeks for the next three months. Then once a month, then once every two months until your first year is up. Then you go in for your first M.O.T. (full check up) 

Small pieces of my new heart in a jar ready to be sent to lab.

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