St. Luke's Heart Transplant Program
Physicians at Aurora St. Luke's have been performing heart transplants since 1968, giving them the most experience in the Midwest.
Upon referral to the Heart Transplant Program at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center, a transplant coordinator will contact you to discuss the heart transplant process. During the referral phase of a heart transplant, the Transplant Clinic team will perform several diagnostic tests to help determine if a heart transplant is the right treatment for you. The testing insures that, other then your heart, you are in good physical health and can undergo the heart transplant. The diagnostic tests may include:
This test will determine the status of your heart's function and the pressures in the pulmonary artery (the artery that connects the right side of the heart to the lungs). If a cardiac catheterization is necessary, the Transplant Clinic staff will provide you with more information on the procedure.
This test will determine the status of your heart's function. It also looks at how effective the muscle contracts, the size of the four chambers of the heart and if the valves are working properly.
Exercise Oxygen Evaluation (MVO2)
A low-level stress test is performed to determine heart function during exercise.
Blood samples are analyzed to determine if you have antibodies that might make it difficult to match a donor.
Blood and Tissue Typing
Blood samples are tested to determine an individual's blood type and tissue type, to match donors to recipients.
Infectious Disease Screening
Following transplant surgery, drugs used to prevent rejection of the heart can increase the chances of infection. An infectious disease doctor will interview you and order a number of tests to identify any current infections and treat any active infections before surgery.
Kidney Function Tests
Since your kidneys play a vital role in recovery from surgery, it is important to know if they can tolerate the stress of surgery and drug therapy. Blood and urine samples will be used to detect any kidney problems.
Liver Function Tests
Blood samples are also analyzed to determine liver function.
Pulmonary Function Tests
These tests measure your lung function and determine whether any lung disease is present.
A dentist will check for any infection on the mouth and that your teeth are in good repair to prevent future infection.
Bone Mineral Density
Following transplant surgery, drugs used to prevent rejection of the heart can decrease the density of your bones, so a base line study is done.
The patient and family also participate in interviews and consultations with other members of the transplant team to discuss all aspects of transplantation and how it will affect their life.
After obtaining the needed information, a multi-disciplinary selection committee meets to decide if transplantation is the best option. If the committee determines that the candidate is qualified, the patient is registered with the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), the national computerized list that matches transplant recipients with available organs.
To learn more, click here or call 414-646-5410.