PREPARING FOR TRANSPLANTATION-EXAMINATIONS AND TESTS

Entering the transplant program in the best possible health maximizes your chances of a favorable outcome and lowers your risk of complications. To make sure you are physically prepared for your transplant therapy, your doctor will tell you of some medical exams you should have prior to treatment. These include:

  • A dental exam: Your dentist will examine you and treat any possible sources of infection before your transplant. He/She may recommend fluoride treatments to help prevent decay. Your dentist will need to send a letter or call the Transplantation Office at (201) 996-5849 to let us know that you have been cleared to proceed with your transplant therapy.
  • A gynecologic exam: All women need to have a gynecologic exam before transplant therapy to treat any possible infections. A Pap smear is not required. During your hospitalization for your transplant therapy, your doctor may place you on hormonal therapy to temporarily suppress menstruation. Your gynecologist will need to send a letter or call the Transplantation Office at (201) 996-5849 to let us know that you have been cleared to proceed with the transplant.
  • Your diet: It is not necessary to be on a special diet before your transplant or to take more vitamins or gain weight in advance. Our staff will help you plan for your nutritional needs. If you are over- or underweight now, however, ask your doctor how to achieve your normal weight before your admission to the hospital. 
  • Sperm banking: Chemotherapy and radiation can cause a man to become sterile (unable to have children). If you are interested in storing your sperm in a sperm bank before your transplant, ask your doctor for information. Your ability to engage in sexual relations should not be affected by your transplant. 
  • Tests: Before you are admitted to the hospital for your transplant, we will perform a number of tests to establish baseline information. This will tell us how your body is functioning now and will help us to evaluate any changes that occur during or after the transplant. We may perform these tests and possibly others:
    • An Audiogram: A hearing test to determine the level of your hearing at various sound frequencies
    • Blood tests: To determine your blood counts and the chemical composition of your blood. We will repeat these tests and others frequently throughout hospitalization.
      Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: to provide a sample of your bone marrow 
    • Chest X-ray: An X-ray showing your lungs, heart, and ribs
      Cardiac (MUGA) scan: to measure how well your heart is functioning
      Computerized axial tomography (CAT or CT) scan: a special X-ray that will provide images of your soft tissues and bones. It will also provide measurements of your chest to help us plan radiation treatments, if necessary.
    • Electrocardiogram (EKG): A test that measures the electrical activity of your heart.
    • Echocardiogram: A record of the size and motion of your heart
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A special imaging test that is similar to a CAT scan
      PET scan 
    • Pulmonary function tests (PFTs): Breathing tests to assess how your lungs function
      Urinalysis: an analysis of a urine sample