Getting Ready for Your Organ Transplant

After your name has been placed on the list, you will need to be seen every two to three months in the Transplant Clinic.

Getting Ready for Organ Transplant

At these visits, you will meet with your lung transplant coordinator, therapists (respiratory or other) and a doctor from the transplant team.

You may also have a 6-minute walk test, pulmonary function tests, a chest x-ray, lab tests and other necessary tests.

While you are waiting for your transplant it’s important to take good care of yourself and keep your body in shape. You will need to participate in a cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation program near your home.

Your recovery after surgery will be much easier if you have strong muscles and a good ability to walk or bike short distances. The kind of exercise that will keep you fit should include movement of the large muscles of the body, legs, arms, and chest. Stationary bicycling is an ideal exercise for the leg and breathing muscles.

Walking is also very good, however most patients find that they are able to exercise longer when they are seated on a bike. Most muscle-strengthening exercises should include those holding light weights during repeated arm and leg movements.


The transplant program may not generally require you to relocate to the transplant hospital area to wait for your transplant. They will need to work with you to set up transportation for when a donor is identified to get you to the hospital in 2-4 hours. This may include ambulance or air transportation. Insurance coverage for this varies.

You will need to check with your insurance company to see if you have coverage. There may be occasions when you and a support person are asked to relocate to the transplant hospital area. This is done when the travel to get to the transplant hospital could be life threatening.

You will need to see your primary care doctors and pulmonologist, as well as a doctor from the transplant team during your waiting time.

(Reference: University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority.

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After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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