What Happens to Your Body When You Get a Heart Transplant

Few surgeries are a bigger deal than a heart transplant. During a heart transplant, doctors have to open you up, take out your actual heart, and then put a new one in. Naturally, this process can turn deadly. Of course, it's more complicated than that, but few people actually know what happens in a heart transplant. How does your body react? How do doctors keep you alive when you're literally heartless? The details of a heart transplant's impact on your body - as well as how it's done - are as fascinating as they are frightening.

For those wondering if the body can reject a heart transplant, the answer is a resounding yes. There are numerous horror stories of transplants gone wrong, and in the early days of this procedure, death was pretty common. However, the five-year survival rate is now much better than 50/50, which gives those who need the procedure hope. Still, it's pretty taxing on your body in some very gruesome ways.

Without getting too gory, it's worth noting that some of the information here is graphic and not for the faint of heart. But if you're ready to know how a heart transplant is done and how your body responds, read on.