During this consultation a transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator and a transplant social worker will meet with you to review your past medical, surgical, psychological and social history. You will be examined by the surgeon and then sent for blood tests.
Blood Tests: After your consultation you will be sent to the laboratory to have your blood type confirmed and to have routine chemistry, hematology, coagulation, hepatitis screens and viral studies done. You will also be asked to sign consent for an HIV blood test.
- Chest X-ray: an x-ray of your chest is done to determine if your lungs and respiratory tract are within normal limits.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): An MRI is noninvasive and it uses magnetic fields and radio waves to reproduce images which produce clear pictures (images) of your liver without the use of X-rays. This test allows the physicians to view in detail the anatomy of your liver and look for any abnormalities or variations.
A hepatic angiogram is an invasive test. The doctors may decided to do this test after reviewing your MRI. An X-ray of the arteries is taken after dye is injected into your bloodstream. This test is utilized to further visualize your liver and any potential abnormalities of the arteries or liver. Let your doctor/coordinator know if you have asthma, may be pregnant, or if you are allergic to shellfish, contrast dye or iodine, or if you are taking any aspirin products or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Aleve).
If you are over 50 years of age you will be required to have an echocardiogram and a stress test in addition to a routine EKG.
- Echocardiogram (EKG): A noninvasive test that examines your heart rate, rhythm, and conduction.
- Stress Test: A noninvasive test that evaluates the blood flow to the heart muscle during exercise. An EKG is recorded while you gradually increase your activity level.
If you were a smoker you will be required to have a pulmonary function test, a noninvasive test that evaluates your lung capacity and function.
You will be required to meet with a social worker on 2 separate occasions without the recipient. At this meeting the social worker will discuss with you the many psychological and social issues involved with living donor liver transplantation.
You will be required to meet with a hepatologist (liver specialist) who will review all of your test results and examine you. The hepatologist acts as your advocate to minimize the potential danger with donating a part of your liver. He will determine if you need any additional testing at this time.
After Your Evaluation
When your evaluation is complete the Transplant Team will meet to review and discuss your candidacy as a living donor. If the team is in agreement, the surgery is then booked on an elective basis with consideration to the donor's and recipient's schedules.