In addition to you and your family, your transplant team is made up of doctor, nurses, social workers, dietitians, and others who are specially trained to meet the unique needs of transplant patients. This team will be with you before, during, and after transplantation.
This is the doctor who specializes in the treatment of your organ disease and will be managing the medical aspects of your care before, during, and after transplantation. They will meet with you regularly to examine you, discuss your care, and order any tests and medications that you need.
Your Transplant Surgeon
This is the doctor who will actually transplant your new organ into your body. You will meet with your surgeon prior to transplant at which time he/she will discuss the transplant surgery, its risks and benefits, and answer any questions that you may have. A few weeks after the transplant, the surgeon will see you to make sure that you are healing properly from the surgery. The surgeon also manages any post-transplant surgical issues that may arise.
Your Transplant Coordinator
This is the registered nurse who is responsible for coordinating all the events necessary for your transplant to occur. They will also coordinate the management of your follow-up care after transplant. Your transplant coordinator will work closely with you throughout every step of the transplant process. This includes pre-transplant education, scheduling of tests and appointments for the recipient and donor evaluations, keeping you well informed and teaching you how to care for yourself after transplant. The coordinator will utilize the resources necessary to best meet your needs throughout the transplant process. They will also be your main point of contact for information, questions, problems or concerns regarding your care.
A registered dietitian will provide specific nutritional information to meet your individual needs both before and after transplant. They will talk to you about foods that give you the best chance for a healthy life. After transplantation, they will work with infants who had been tube-fed prior to transplant in order to improve oral feeding skills and with older children to minimize weight gain.
Your Social Worker
Your social worker will help you with many of the “social” aspects of your transplant such as providing information about Medicare, disability insurance and other potential sources of financial assistance. They can provide emotional support and suggest counseling services, if necessary, for both you and your family before and after your transplant. They can also assist with readjustments to school or job, help arrange transportation, or other support services that you and your family may need after your transplant.
Your Transplant Financial Counselor
This is the person who will review your medical insurance coverage and obtain insurance authorization for the transplant once the evaluation process for you and your donor has been completed they will review with you specific information about your coverage and any costs that you can expect to incur.
Because your medications are so important to the success of your transplant, you should identify the pharmacy where you will get your medications before the transplant occurs. Your transplant coordinator can also give you information about mail order pharmacies that specialize in transplant medications. You will need to check your insurance policy for prescription drug coverage. Some policies require that you utilize specific retail and/ or mail order pharmacies.