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Being Evaluated for a Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplant is indicated for renal failure due to many causes, including: hypertension and diabetes (the most common causes for renal failure in the U.S.), diabetic nephropathy, focal segmental Glomerular sclerosis (FSGS), polycystic kidney disease, HIV nephropathy, systemic lupus, and glomerulonephritis. To ensure the success of your treatment, the transplant team must have a complete medical, psychosocial, & financial evaluation to determine if transplant is the right thing for you.

You can receive a kidney transplant if your kidneys are failing — even before you need to be on dialysis. The sooner you get evaluated, the greater the benefit you will obtain.

Below are examples of some of the tests you will need to take to determine your medical condition before transplant. In addition, it is important that you have no active infections or cancers. If you have a history of cancer, we need to be certain that you no longer have cancer and the risk of recurrence is very low. Anti-rejection medications are given after transplantation and decrease the body's ability to fight infections and cancers.

Anti-rejection medication can worsen infections and cancers, so patients with a current infection or currently undergoing treatment for cancer cannot receive an organ transplant.

Important Tests for the Transplant Workup

  • Chest X-ray: Chest X-ray examines the patient's heart and lungs.
  • EKG: EKG studies the rhythm of the heart.
  • Dobutamine stress echo: Dobutamine stress echo examines the function of the heart under stress and can predict whether the patient is at risk for a heart attack.
  • ABO typing: ABO typing identifies the patient's blood type.
  • HLA typing: HLA typing identifies the patient's transplant antigens. This information is used to determine the type of patient/donor match.
  • Dental evaluation: Regular dental visits are important because dental infections can create a serious health risk after transplantation
  • Colonoscopy: Colon cancer screenings need to be done in any person over the age of 50.
  • Gynecological evaluation: Screening for female reproductive system cancers.
  • Mammogram: Breast cancer screening needs to be done in all females over 40 years of age

Depending of your medical condition and the results of some of the tests, we may need to get more testing before you get on the transplant list.