All Medical Procedures

A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. Heart transplant is a treatment that's usually reserved for people who have tried medications or other surgeries, but their conditions haven't improved sufficiently.

While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good, with appropriate follow-up care.

When faced with a decision about having a heart transplant, know what to expect of the heart transplant process, the surgery itself, potential risks and follow-up care.

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a kidney from a live or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.

Your kidneys remove excess fluid and waste from your blood. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of fluid and waste accumulate in your body — a condition known as kidney failure or end-stage kidney disease. A kidney transplant is often the best treatment for kidney failure.

Only one donated kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys, making living-donor kidney transplantation an option. If a compatible living donor isn't available for a kidney transplant, your name may be placed on a kidney transplant waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. The wait is usually a few years.

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure to remove a diseased liver and replace it with a healthy liver from a donor. Most liver transplant operations use livers from deceased donors, though a liver may also come from a living donor.

The number of people waiting for new livers is much larger than the number of available livers, so liver transplant is reserved for people who are critically ill. Some people receive a liver transplant right away, while others spend many months waiting for a liver transplant.

A lung transplant is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased or failing lung with a healthy lung, usually from a deceased donor. Depending on your medical condition, a lung transplant may involve replacing one of your lungs or both of them. In some situations, the lungs may be transplanted along with a donor heart.

Peritoneal dialysis (per-ih-tuh-NEE-ul di-AL-uh-sis) is a way to remove waste products from your blood when your kidneys can no longer do the job adequately. During peritoneal dialysis, blood vessels in your abdominal lining (peritoneum) fill in for your kidneys, with the help of a fluid (dialysate) that flows into and out of the peritoneal space.

Peritoneal dialysis differs from hemodialysis, a more commonly used blood-filtering procedure. With peritoneal dialysis, you can give yourself treatments at home, at work or while traveling. You may be able to use fewer medications and eat a less restrictive diet than you can with hemodialysis.

Peritoneal dialysis isn't an option for everyone with kidney failure. You need manual dexterity and the ability to care for yourself at home or a reliable caregiver.