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All patients will receive an initial evaluation by members of the transplant team. Some patients will move immediately toward being listed for transplantation, while others will be able to manage their condition for months or years before transplantation becomes necessary. Only after the evaluation is complete can the transplant team tell if a patient is eligible for a transplant.
Prior to your first appointment, you'll be asked for provide a list of all prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medications, including name, dosage and frequency of use. You'll also be asked for a copy of your medical history and any recent test results. If you are unable to send the requested information ahead of time, please bring this with you the day of the appointment.
Once all tests are completed, the transplant team will review your case and determine your transplant eligibility.
Patients may require additional medical testing, which may result in follow-up visits to the hospital. Some candidates may be able to have these test performed in their local area. Patients can take an active role in moving the evaluation testing along by following through on completing the tests that are needed.
Depending on a patient’s situation and type of organ transplant, the following tests may or may not be required:
All Transplant Patients
- Cancer Screening – For those with a history of cancer, certain medical testing may be required to determine transplant eligibility.
- Abdominal CT Scan – This test shows the size and shape of your abdominal organs and main blood vessels.
- Chest X-ray – Looks for infection or fluid in the lungs.
- Blood Work – Transplant specific blood work will be required for all potential transplant recipients. This will be explained during your evaluation appointment.
- Pulmonary Function Tests – Tells how well your lungs are working.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) – Reveals your heart rhythm.
- Stress Echocardiogram – Shows the size and function of your heart, checking to see how the blood flows through your heart, and sees if any areas are not receiving enough oxygen.
- Liver Biopsy – Removes a small piece of liver for analysis.
- Substance Abuse – Active substance abusers will not qualify for a transplant. Typically, at least six months of documented sobriety or abstinence is required. If a patient is approved for transplant, random checks may be performed to ensure sobriety.
- HIV – Patients with HIV may still be eligible for a transplant. Other criteria must be met. Johns Hopkins is participating in an HIV study for potential transplant patients.
- Age – Patients up to age 71 may be eligible for transplant at Johns Hopkins. Patients who are on the waiting list when they turn 72 years old may be reevaluated, or referred to another transplant center that works with these patients.
- Smoking – It is recommended that you stop smoking. Smoking may increase the amount of time you spend on a ventilator post transplant, and could cause slower wound healing.