What is the workup process like?

A standard set of tests including labs and x-rays give a clear picture of your overall health status. They also help to identify potential problems before they occur. We can determine whether or not transplantation is truly the best option for you. The tests during the evaluation include:

  • Blood tests - Assesses your overall physical condition.
  • Tissue typing - A special blood test that helps find a donor kidney that matches and provides valuable information about your body's immune system
  • Colonoscopy – Screens for colon cancer for anyone over age 50.
  • Chest X-ray  - Assesses the size of your heart and checks for lung abnormalities
  • Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) - Assesses the function of the lower urinary tract
  • Abdominal US - Examines the kidneys, liver and gallbladder for cysts, stones or other abnormalities
  • TB Skin testing – Tests for exposure to tuberculosis.
  • Gynecological exam – All women need a gynecological exam within the last year. Mammograms are also required for all women over age 40.
  • Pulmonary function studies – Persons with a history of lung disease or tobacco use will undergo pulmonary (lung) function studies.
  • Cardiac tests – Assesses your heart function via an echocardiogram and electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). A stress test and a cardiac catheterization are done if needed.
  • Physical examination – Assesses your overall condition

Because everyone is different, every evaluation is tailored to evaluate each person’s specific needs.

Medical Review Board: When your evaluation is complete, your case is presented to the Medical Review Board (MRB). The MRB consists of nephrologists, transplant surgeons, transplant coordinators, a dietician, social workers, and a financial counselor. The MRB will weigh the risks and benefits of dialysis vs. transplantation to determine which method is best for you. You will be notified of the MRB’s recommendation by one of the transplant coordinators.