Transplant Evaluation Tests
All Tampa General Hospital transplant patients will undergo the following tests/examinations as part of the evaluation process:
- Blood tests - You will have blood tests to check your blood type; check the function of your heart, kidneys, liver, thyroid and immune systems; and test for certain diseases such as hepatitis.
- Echocardiogram - This is an ultrasound of your heart. It is done to check your heart’s chambers, valves and pumping function.
- Electrocardiogram - Patches on your chest will record your heart’s rhythm.
- Scans and X-rays - You will have X-rays of your spine and hips. You may also have a bone density (DEXA) scan. These tests will tell us if you have, or are at risk for, bone disease. If you have a transplant, you will need to take steroid medicines. Steroids can lead to osteoporosis (brittle bones). If you have bone disease, we may have you take medicine to strengthen your bones before your transplant.
- Cancer screening - It is important that a patient is cancer-free before undergoing transplantation. Exposure to anti-rejection medicines after transplant could allow a pre-cancerous condition to become malignant. If you’ve had any cancer screening tests recently, please fax the results to your transplant coordinator at 813-844-4016.
Additionally, you must be up to date on all routine health care as part of the transplant evaluation process. You must complete all needed dental work before your transplant, and should maintain follow-up with your dentist as he or she recommends.
In some cases, your dentist may have you take an antibiotic (germ-fighting medicine) before each exam. It is vital to take good care of your teeth and gums, since mouth infections can lead to serious infections of the heart.
Please have yearly flu shots. Family members that live with you should also have flu shots, unless they are allergic to the vaccine. You will also need to have a pneumonia shot, unless you have received one in the last seven years. These immunizations should be kept current after your transplant.
Please keep a record of when you receive all of your shots.