Published: Feb. 12, 2010
Updated: June 6, 2012
We strive to complete the entire evaluation during this week, so we can make recommendations as quickly as possible about your ability to have a safe and successful lung transplant.
You will have several appointments to complete studies and meet with members of the transplant team. The pre-transplant coordinator begins the week with a group class to explain details about the evaluation and what to expect.
Clinicians from each of the studies you undergo will explain the studies and may ask you to sign a separate consent form.
Please keep in mind that the people who perform the studies do not tell you about the results; your transplant team physician or transplant coordinator will summarize and explain all results to you after your evaluation is completed.
You will be scheduled for some or all of the following tests:
Many blood tests will be done, including those that identify your blood type and assess kidney, liver, and immune-system function. We also check for viruses or other infections that could cause a problem after the surgery.
Familiar to everyone who has lung disease, these tests measure breathing capacity. You will be asked to breathe in and out as fully as possible while a technologist measures the amount of air you intake and the strength of your lungs.
This quick ultrasound test bounces sound waves off your heart to give us information about its function and the condition of your heart valves.
This test provides information about arteries that supply the heart with blood and about internal heart pressures. After numbing an area at the top of your leg, doctors insert a catheter through a large blood vessel and thread it through the vessel and into your heart. A special dye is injected through the catheter that allows the physician to see your blood vessels and measure internal heart pressures.
Medication to help you relax may be given for this procedure if needed. The study usually takes 45 minutes to one hour and is conducted in a specially equipped area called the catheterization ("cath") lab. After the study, you will need to lie flat for a while to prevent bleeding.
This test gives us information about both the blood supply and the air supply to your lungs. You will receive a small injection into an arm vein, then be asked to breathe oxygen through a mask. A large scanner will then record data about air flow in your lungs while you lie still.
This radiology scan provides a three-dimensional image of the inside of your lungs and chest. You will be asked to lie very still on a table that moves you through a round, tunnel-like machine.
This procedure will show your doctor how the muscles in your esophagus (swallowing tube) work. A small tube is passed into your stomach through your nose. When the catheter is in place, you lie down and relax while the test is being performed. Please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. During the test you will be asked to swallow water. You will not be able to have anything to eat or drink for at least six hours prior to the test.
This test -- usually performed right after the esophageal manometry test -- is done to see how often acid from your stomach comes up into your esophagus. A small tube that measures your acid reflux is placed in your stomach through your nose and will stay in place overnight. Once the tube is in place, you can eat and drink, and you will be requested to keep a food and drink diary while the test is in progress. The following morning, the tube is removed in the endoscopy clinic.
This evaluation by a rehabilitation specialist helps us assess your tolerance of physical activity. We require participation in our rehabilitation program before and after your transplant to ensure physical readiness for a transplant. This evaluation includes exercise testing and a six-minute walk test.
Other tests may be ordered as part of your lung transplant evaluation. These will be explained to you by a member of the Lung Transplant Team.