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What will happen during the assessment?

To be told that a transplant is the only treatment available is confirmation of the severity of your illness so don't be afraid to ask questions your transplant team will answer them as openly and honestly as possible. During your stay a series of investigations may be performed some of which you may have had done before. Here is a list:

Chest x-ray
An x-ray machine will photograph your heart. This will show the doctor the size and exact position of your heart.

Electrocardiogram [ECG]
This machine will record the rate and rhythm of your heart.

This is a scan which will show the internal structure of your heart.

Cardiac catheter
This is normally performed under a local anaesthetic. A small drip is inserted into the top of the leg, the catheter then moves along with the blood flow through the large blood vessels and the various chambers of the heart.

This will indicate if there are any blockages in the large blood vessels and will allow pressures to be measured within each chamber of the heart and the various arteries. This test gives important results which are vital in assessing whether a heart transplant operation is feasible.

Kidney test [24hr urine collection]
This involves your urine being collected in a bottle over a 24hr period. This is then sent to the laboratory for examination. The results will indicate how well your kidneys are working. This is also a very important test.

Blood Tests
A variety of blood tests will be taken. An important one will measure your antibodies (this will be discussed at the assessment). Blood will also be taken to find out your blood group.

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