Transplant evaluations

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Transplant evaluations

Postby msdiva » Tue May 11, 2004 2:25 pm

Hey guys/gals, what should i be expecting when i get evaluated for a transplant, and if a person wants to donate to me do they have to come to the state your in to do evaluations or do they go through thier own doctors. Tell me how did your donor get all the test they needed done? What did you have to do for the evals? Does it hurt?(first and foremost) and what do the test consist of? Thanks for all your help. Hope to get a lot of anwsers
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Postby Mike » Tue May 11, 2004 2:39 pm

i couldn't comment on what the procedures are for the states as I am in the UK but i have recently completed the tests here and I would imagine they are pretty much the same.

I had an ECG and ECG stress test plus lots of blood tests. It was all pretty painless, well.....apart from them making me run on a treadmill for 30 minutes !! :D

good luck

mike
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Treadmill?????

Postby msdiva » Wed May 12, 2004 1:05 pm

What was the purpose of the treadmill?, to see if you have a strong heart?, Do i need to bring out my tennis shoes? (LOL)
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Postby Mike » Wed May 12, 2004 2:23 pm

yes probably best to take trainers with you. when i had it done they attached a load of electrode things to my chest and measured my heartbeat and electrical activity to check my heart was ok and
how fit I was. the ECG was just a ultrasound scan and they listened to my heart to check it. No big deal really, the nurses said i was the youngest person there that day by about 50 years!! good luck to you
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pre-transplant

Postby amanda in CA » Wed May 12, 2004 4:52 pm

Hi, it seems generally, that your potential donors have to contact the transplant unit where you are a patient and then they arrange for the cross-match test to be carried out either by them or the person's own doctor. Your insurance should (I think this is generally the case) pick up the tab for your donor's care.

When I was evaluated (and I've had it done at two different units) I had a load of blood taken, but no more than for a routine exam., blood pressure, weight, ECG (didn't use a treadmill though), and not only did I see the doctors but I also had to be interviewed by a social worker. I am sure that protocols vary from unit to unit but I have a feeling that it will be similar all over because I'm pretty sure that it's the insurance companies who call the shots over what is required. Amanda
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Postby Mike » Wed May 12, 2004 5:06 pm

they probably made me run as they took one look at me and thought I could do with the exercise :lol:

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Postby JMan » Wed May 12, 2004 8:34 pm

The treadmill is part of the cardiac stress test.. To see how your body copes with stress..

I've never had to have one so far.. I beleive age has something to do with it
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For me

Postby nycpetit » Wed May 12, 2004 10:08 pm

the doctor asked me how many blocks I could walk..don't know what made him think to ask that....perhaps because I am so thin?? I told him I had walked the equivalent of three to five miles just to get to the appointment and he paused and said, "Well no need to exercise tests..you are doing better than me!"

It does have to do with your age...I am sort of just below the age when some of the more evasive tests are ordered...I'll be 35 this summer...when we hope to do the surgery

N
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How far can you walk :)

Postby JMan » Wed May 12, 2004 10:29 pm

I think thats a standard variation on, do you get breathless when walking up stairs.. Its a 'crude' cardiologists evaluation Q.. ...

Anyway.. glad to hear theres no problems there:)

Other tests might include some contrast or dye tests.. these ususally involce drinking or getting a small injection of dye.

And possibly an ultrasound or MRI both of these are painless.
At a more extreme end a renal angiogram may be performed although I beleive these are somewhat less common nowadays??
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Postby johnsor » Mon May 24, 2004 4:49 pm

Cardiac tests can be chemically induced....ie dubatene (sp) test. If clinic thinks walking is too difficult for patient, they can order the alternative test. Colonoscopy is a procedure they may or may not recommend for patient and/or donor depending on age. I think over 50 and it is automatic. Some centers request an angiogram if they suspect you might have some aterial blockage. A lot of where tests are to be done (location wise) are more dependent on your insurance company than they are the center. My insurance company stated all testing had to be done at the center where I was to be transplanted. I am in Illinois and had potential out of state donors. The hospital said they would consider another major transplant center's test results, but would not use my local hospital for testing for insurance reasons. I had to get a waiver after transplant from my insurance company to allow me to get weekly blood tests locally rather than drive 150 miles to the transplant center every other day. I did a lot of driving to the transplant center for testing when there were three good hospitals within 10 miles of my home.
The good news was my insurance paid for transportation, food and housing during the tests.

Hope things go very well for you and before you know it you will be a new person.
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pre-transplant testing - recipient and donor

Postby Cheryl in CT » Tue May 25, 2004 11:27 am

Hi. I'm in CT and had my transplant at Hartford Hospital, which is an hour and a half from home. I was allowed to have many of my tests done at a more local hospital, as was my husband, who was my donor. Certain things had to be done in Hartford, but for the most part, we were able to use our closest hospital for testing.

Due to prior gastro problems (ulcers, in particular), I had to have a full GI series, including colonoscopy, but my husband didn't. He did the treadmill test, but I did the dye injection/nuclear med testing instead, as I was in no condition to be running at that point... We both had to have full physicals (done by our own GPs locally), 24-hour urine tests, full bloodwork, and all of that stuff. I had to have a full gynecological workup & mammogram, and we both had to have dental checkups and renal scans. I also had an abdomenal MRI. Last but not least, we both had to go to Hartford for lung capacity tests, which just involved breathing into various machines & testing oxygen levels in the blood.

Our insurance company (PPO thru Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield) was absolutely great about handling all of it. They actually assigned a transplant co-ordinator to individually handle all of our medical expenses. Aside from a $10 co-pay here & there at doctor's offices, everything was covered in full.

Post-up, all follow-up visits and testing had to be done at Hartford for the first 3 months. That involved 3 visits per week for the first couple of weeks, then down to 2 per week, one per week, every other week, and so forth. Once I was down to once a month, I was allowed to have my weekly bloodwork done locally. Now, I'm down to bloodwoork once a month (locally) and a visit to Hartford every 3 months. Not bad, considering! Since it's only 4 trips a year to Hartford now, I really don't mind the trek at all - and besides, my car knows the way!

Wishing you lots & lots of luck with all the testing - it really isn't so bad, especially if you can manage to have it all done quickly. Mark & I were most fortunate in that regard - everyone pulled together & acted quickly, so everthing was done in a matter of weeks, instead of months. From what I've read, that's the exception, rather than the norm, but somehow, each of my docs found out that they'd all gone to Yale for med school, and it was like old fraternity time or something - each almost outperformed the other in trying to get things done. Whatever the reason, tho, it worked!

I do hope it all goes easily for you. We'll be thinking of you and wishing you nothing but the best.

Cheryl
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