The prognosis for heart transplant patients following the orthotopic procedure has greatly increased over the past 20 years, and as of Aug. 11, 2006, the survival rates were as follows.
(Source: Heart Transplants: Statistics, The American Heart Association. Retrieved February 1, 2007.)
- 1 years: 86.1% (males), 83.9% (females)
- 3 years: 78.3% (males), 74.9% (females)
- 5 years: 71.2% (males), 66.9% (females)
Wikipedia: Heart transplantation - Prognosis
In 1992, when my dad had suffered a couple heart attacks and was diagnosed with a failing heart, we were told the one-year prognosis for survival was only about 50%, but that the prognosis did improve for people who survived the first year. My dad was 54, relatively young for a heart transplant candidate, and was in fairly good health apart from the heart trouble. Still, he got sicker and weaker over the months, and by May of 1993 was too ill to attend my college graduation. He went into the hospital shortly after that, seriously ill and in need of a transplant soon. And, a week after my graduation, they got a matching donor heart.
Today is my dad's fourteenth rebirthday. He's on lifelong medications, he's not as strong or active as he had been before the heart trouble started, but he is healthy and lively and active. He'll be 68 in September. I don't know what kind of survival rate the doctors would give him now, but I believe he's got a reasonable chance of living at least into his 80s like his own father. I hope he does have many more years ahead; I'm glad that he was given the past 14 years.