Preoperative evaluation and optimization
Your pulmonary transplant team would evaluate you with multiple coordinated tests. These can include:
- Psychosocial evaluation of your emotions and your support system.
- Blood tests including gas exchange by the lungs
- Imaging tests such as a chest X-Ray and CT scan
- Lung function tests to determine the severity of your lung disease.
- Lung ventilation/perfusion scan, a test that correlates breathing and blood circulation in the lungs
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) to assess heart rhythm (abnormalities)
- Echocardiography (echography of the heart) to assess the muscle strength and the functioning of the heart valves.
- Heart catheterization to evaluate if the arteries to the heart and the valves of the heart work properly and to measure arterial pressure in the lungs.
- Cardiac stress test to evaluate how well your heart pumps blood during exercise.
- Six-min walk test to evaluate the exercise capacity (distance) and drop in oxygen level when walking.
In order to reach your transplant day in the best possible condition, your transplant team would recommend you to take care of:
- Immunizations like the flu, pneumococcus, tetanus and Hepatitis type B (Hep-B) vaccines.
- Rehabilitation to decrease your oxygen need and shortness of breath, to improve your muscle strength and your activity level.
- Nutrition advice to improve the transplant outcomes. Weight gain or weight loss may be needed to maintain a good balance (body mass index)