When you and your cardiologist decide that you’re a candidate for a heart transplant, it can bring about a mix of emotions.
Adding your name to the waitlist is the first step of your journey, and being as prepared as possible can help you navigate the journey with confidence. There are several things you need to do to get ready for a heart transplant operation.
Complete All Medical Tests
Once you’re on the waiting list, you need to be sure to complete all necessary medical evaluations and tests and attend all scheduled appointments. Pre-testing for heart transplant operation often includes:
- Physical exam
- Family medical history
- Blood typing
- Panel reactive antibody levels
- Viral testing
- Urine and kidney function tests
Keep Your Place On the List
Be Reachable 24 Hours a Day
Provide your transplant coordinator with a list of phone numbers where you can be reached 24 hours a day, and also give them the names of people you frequently visit. When a heart becomes available, there’s a short window of time that your transplant team has to locate you. If they can’t reach you, that heart goes to the next person on the list.
Get Emotional Support
Anticipating a heart transplant can be stressful and emotionally draining. Enlist support from loved ones and consider speaking with the social worker or psychologist at the transplant center.