Kidney Transplant Evaluation, What You Should Know That They Do Not Tell You In The "Packet"

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Many Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients become very nervous before they conduct their first Kidney Transplant evaluation.  This is often because they do not really know what to expect when they go in. Nervousness could cause stress and have negative implications on your test results such as, spiking your blood pressure or can even deter you from going at all. That is why has decided to give you the "inside scoop" on what to expect during your evaluation including details that are not shared in medical packets. 

Recommended Reading: What Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Can Expect During Preoperative Kidney Transplant Procedure 

Note that much of this information is anecdotal and since every Transplant Center is different, there may be slight alterations on how each center conducts its evaluations. However, there are general steps that all Kidney Transplant Centers take during evaluations and advice that could give you an edge to be approved to receive a transplant.  

Recommended Reading: A Center That Conducts Transplants Regardless of Age and Even Blood Compatibility? 

All transplant candidates begin their program with a comprehensive series of tests  including:

  • Blood tests - These include identifying your blood type, i.e., A, B, O or AB, antibody levels and cross-matching to determine whether your body will accept or reject a particular kidney.
  • Carotid Doppler - This painless and harmless test uses high-frequency sound waves to make images of the insides of the two large arteries in your neck.
  • Chemical stress test - This test uses intravenous or IV drugs to evaluate how the heart responds to stress.
  • Chest X-ray - This test examines the lungs and lower respiratory tract to help detect infection or abnormalities in your lungs and to assess the size of your heart.
  • Color-flow Doppler - This noninvasive test shows the blood flow through the arteries and veins in the lower abdomen and legs. It reveals any narrowing caused by hardening of the arteries or other vessel diseases.
  • Dental evaluation - This ensures you do not have infections, cavities or gum disease.
  • Echocardiogram - This noninvasive test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. Echocardiograms use no radiation and show more detail than X-ray images.
  • Electrocardiogram - An EKG shows the rate your heart is beating and any abnormal or extra beats. It will show any blockage that changes the normal electrical signal path through the heart muscle.
  • Gynecologic evaluation - Women have a Pap smear and mammogram.
  • Renal ultrasound - Ultrasound shows the blood flow to and from the kidneys and locates abnormalities or masses in the kidneys. They will perform an ultrasound test of your abdominal area to check for any abnormalities of the liver, gall bladder, bile duct, spleen and pancreas.
  • TB skin test - Both the patient and donor are given skin tests for tuberculosis, a highly contagious infection. TB can be transferred to a patient via a donated kidney.
  • Urine tests - We check for infections and measure how well your kidneys get rid of wastes.

Most people do not expect this much testing, but you should be sure to pack a lunch because you could be taking tests all day long. Ask your doctor which tests you will need to not eat before, and attempt to get those out of the way first.  

Recommended Reading: Why is a Significant Portion of the Dialysis Patient Community Refusing Kidney Transplantation? 

In all facilities you will go through a general orientation. Often after your orientation you will meet with designated nurse coordinators and then social workers. You will also meet with your financial coordinators before talking to your Nephrologists who might require some additional tests and examinations by other Specialists. Your final meeting should be with one of the Transplant Center's Surgeons. This usually goes one after another so take some water and be prepared to have several rather intimate conversations. Once approved, be sure to provide your current telephone number. You will also need periodic lab work and yearly tests to be sure you are still eligible for a Kidney Transplant.  

Recommended Reading: Website That Allows You To Find Kidney Transplant Centers With Lowest Wait Times In Your Area is here every day to provide End Stage Renal Disease patients with daily news and information that improves their quality of life and assists them in getting a Kidney Transplant faster. Visit our new Shop section for useful tailored CKD products (more products are currently being identified and added) as well as Like the Facebook Fan Page, Follow us on Twitter and visit regularly so you do miss any critical information. 

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"What to Expect: Kidney/Pancreas Transplant Program." Http:// University of Maryland Medical Center.

"Your First Visit and Evaluation: What to Expect during Your First Visit." Http:// Kidney Transplant Evaluation & First Visit.

"Kidney Transplant Evaluation." Http:// North West Kidney Centers.

"Kidney Pre-transplant Evaluation." Http:// Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research and Foundation.