After your physician refers you to the Heart Transplant program, you will have an evaluation at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. The transplant program will perform careful screening to determine if you are a suitable candidate for a heart transplant.
During the work-up process, you will undergo a variety of tests and consultations (some of these tests may be performed by your own physician and brought with you at your first appointment):
- A right and left heart catheterization to measure your heart pressures and evaluate your coronary arteries
- An echocardiogram to determine the structure of your heart and your “ejection fraction” (the percentage of blood pumped out with each heartbeat
- A stress test to measure your body’s ability to use oxygen while exercising
- A lung function test
- An electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the electrical activities of your heart
- Other X-rays or ultrasounds
- Blood tests
- A psychosocial evaluation
It is not uncommon to be admitted to the hospital for a few days for further evaluation, depending on your condition. You will also meet with a current transplant or artificial heart patient to discuss that patient’s experiences and lifestyle changes.
Once all the information is collected, a multidisciplinary team meets to determine if heart transplant or LVAD (artificial heart) therapy is the right treatment option for you. Additional information will then be discussed with you, with the final decision made by the patient.