The rest of the tests will be booked at The Ottawa Hospital by the Living Donor Program. The tests will include:
- An ECG to make sure your heart rhythm is normal
- A chest X-Ray to view the heart and lungs
- Blood tests to make sure there are no viruses in your blood that could harm the recipient.
- A renal Scan to show the percentage of kidney function in each of your kidneys. This is done using a nuclear isotope.
- A CT scan to show structures in the abdomen like the veins and arteries in your kidneys, ureter and bladder.
- Living Donor Coordinator
This nurse specialist can give you information about living kidney donation. The coordinator also does the initial health questionnaire with you. The Living Donor Coordinator is the main contact person throughout the donor evaluation process and acts as your advocate.
- Psychiatrist Consult
A psychiatrist is a doctor who specializes in disorders of the mind, such as anxiety and depression. The psychiatrist would meet with you to make sure your decision to donate is not influenced by any mood or emotional disturbances and that you are not likely to be affected by an unforeseen emotional disorder following the surgery.
- Social Work
The social worker meets with you to do a psychosocial assessment. The social worker will make sure that a potential donor has all the information to make an informed choice that is not influenced by guilt, obligation, coercion or money.
- Transplant surgeon
The surgeon will examine you and tell you about the surgical process and the risks involved.
- Donor Nephrologist
A donor nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in kidney donation. The nephrologist will tell you about the risks and benefits of being a kidney donor. They will act as your advocate and make sure that kidney donation does not put you at risk for serious health concerns. This appointment will involve a health history and physical exam.
This may seem like a lot of appointments. It is important that each donor has a full assessment of their health to be sure they are suitable for kidney donation. We will make every effort to minimize the number of trips you need to make to your appointments. Some donors may be declined for medical or psychological reasons. This can be upsetting for the donor. It means that they cannot donate. Sometimes, they might also have a newly diagnosed health problem to deal with too. If a medical problem is found during testing, the donor will be referred to a specialist or their family doctor. The donor can also get support through social work or psychological services if needed.
Once all of the evaluations are complete and you are approved as a kidney donor, your surgery date will be set. The surgery date will depend on the recipient’s needs, your availability and the operating room (OR) schedule. Once the surgery date is set, the donor coordinator will book a few more appointments, including:
- Pre-operative assessment and final cross match blood test 10 days before surgery
- West Nile virus blood test and other blood tests 48 hours before surgery
- Appointment with the surgeon to sign the informed consent if not already done