Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Monday, September 1, 2008

Organ and Cell Transplantation FAQ's from Scripps Green Hospital

Here is an excerpt from a web page on the Scripps Green Transplant Web Site. I have included a link to the full article HERE and will post one under the LINKS section.

Scripps Center for Organ and Cell Transplantation

When will I be placed on the waitlist?

You will be placed on the waitlist after you have completed all of the necessary tests and received insurance approval, and the transplant selection committee at Scripps has had an opportunity to review the results and make sure it is safe for you to undergo a transplant. The committee may decide that you must fulfill certain additional requirements prior to listing.

Why are there so many tests and how long will it take me to complete them?

The tests that are part of the evaluation process are required to make sure it is safe for you to receive a transplant. For example, if you were found to have heart disease during your evaluation, there may be some change in your medication or a procedure that you would require before it would be safe for your heart to undergo the transplant surgery. The entire evaluation process may take from one month to several months depending on your medical problems and how quickly you can complete the necessary tests.

How long will I have to wait for a transplant?

How long you will have to wait for your transplant depends on a number of factors including:

  • The type of transplant you require (liver, kidney, pancreas, or some combination).
  • How quickly you complete the evaluation testing
  • Whether you have other medical problems that require a waiting period. For example, you may receive a transplant after having certain types of cancer if you have received treatment and have demonstrated a long enough period without the cancer returning
  • In the case of a liver transplant, how sick you are
  • Your blood type (certain blood types must wait longer than others)
  • In the case of a kidney or pancreas transplant, how your immune system reacts to cells or organs from other individuals
  • In the case of a kidney transplant, how long you have had kidney failure

In general, patients can wait months to years for a transplant from a cadaveric donor. For patients with a living donor, the wait can be significantly shortened since they need to wait only as long as it takes to complete both their evaluation and that of their donor (usually a few months). In addition, patients with kidney failure who agree to accept a kidney from an extended criteria donor currently wait less than a year at Scripps for their transplant.

How long will the transplanted organ last?

How long the transplanted organ will last depends on a number of factors. In most cases, the new organ should last for the rest of your life. In some cases, a transplant does not last that long. Reasons for a transplant not lasting as long include:

  • Recurrence of the disease process that damaged your original organ
  • Rejection of the organ by your immune system
  • Infection
  • Drug reaction

Fortunately, in most cases these problems can be treated.

Will I have to take special medications for the rest of my life?

You will have to take special medications for the rest of your life. When you first go home after your transplant, you will be on roughly 10-12 new medications. With time, that number will be reduced by your transplant physician.

How long will it be until I can get back to my normal life after my transplant?

Most patients can get back to a relatively normal life in about 3 months. You will be in the hospital for about a week. When you go home, you will need help taking care of yourself. For the first 4-6 weeks, you will be instructed not to lift anything heavier than a phone book. It will probably be 2-3 months before you are ready to drive and probably 3-6 months before you are ready to go back to work. For some patients the rate of recovery is faster, for some slower. It will depend on how ill you are before your transplant and whether you have any complications.

And Nancy's Big Question is ........ WHEN CAN I TRAVEL/CRUISE AGAIN ?????????

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