From the first time you realise that you have a health problem, to the time that you are discharged from hospital after your transplant, the journey has many highs and lows, thrills and spills. The expert transplant team will look after you all the way through the journey, and help you to re-adjust to your new life.
We have split the journey into a number of parts, so take your time and read through them. We hope this will give you some idea and reassurance of the journey ahead.
When you first feel unwell you will normally go and see your GP, who will give you a thorough medical examination and will discuss with you any problems you may have. Your GP may send you for some tests and if he can see more major problems, refer you to a cardiology or respiratory specialist. After further examinations, and tests by your specialist, it may be suggested that you be referred to the specialists at a heart or lung transplant program.
Normally, your first contact with the Alfred transplant program will be an appointment with a cardiologist or respiratory physician working with the program. The doctor will take a medical history, conduct a physical examination, discuss with you what is involved in having a heart or lung transplant, and answer any questions you may have.
This is your opportunity to find out what is involved so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you wish to proceed with the formal assessment process. The timing of an assessment for transplant takes into account whether a patient is sick enough, but also quality of life is important. This is an individual decision. What also must be considered is the difficulty in finding suitable donor organs, taking into account your blood group, size and other matching factors. The patient and the medical team, together, must reach a decision about when to proceed to assessment. At this stage you are not on an official waiting list for a transplant, as there are still many steps to be taken before you reach that stage.
Assessment for transplant
- Physicians (Cardiologists or Respiratory Physicians)
- Social Worker/Counsellor - Psychological Evaluation
- Occupational Therapist
- Nursing Staff
- Transplant Coordinator
- Pastoral Care
|More details on these roles can be found here|
- Gated Blood Pool ScanAngiogram (Cardio Catheterization)
- Right Heart Catheteriztion
- CT Scan
- Lung Function Test
- 24 Hour Urine Test
- Dobutamine Thallium Heart Stress Test
- VQ or Ventilation Perfusion Scan
- Dexa Scan
- O.P.G. (Orthopandontogram)
|More details on these tests can be found here|
- annual flu
- polio booster
- hepatitis B
Making the transplant decision
- Regular visits to the transplant outpatients clinic
- Taking new medications as prescribed
- Attending ongoing education and information sessions
- Notifying the clinic of any changes in your condition
- Adhering to the diet prescribed for you
|Patient support while you wait|
Recipient / Donor Matching
- Blood group
- Recipient/donor size (when matching for lungs, the lung measurement is from apex to base of each lung then across both lungs together at the widest point)
- Whether or not you have had Cytomegalovirus (C.M.V.)
- Compatibility tests between donor and recipient blood
- How sick a person is. A patient whose condition is deteriorating will be given priority where possible.
Being Listed for a Transplant - How long will you wait?
|Next - Being An In-Patient >|