Yearly evaluation

Every year, near the anniversary of your heart transplant, you will have a complete evaluation. You may have some or all of the following tests:

  • echocardiogram: This is an ultrasound study of your heart, valves and the sac around your heart. The test uses sound waves to see how well your heart is working.
  • cardiac catheterization or angiogram: This uses X-ray to look at your heart and arteries. Your cardiologist will be able to tell if your arteries are blocked or narrowed with plaque.
    • Dye is injected into your bloodstream so your arteries show up well on the X-ray.
    • You will need to lie on your back for four hours after this test.
    • You will need to walk for one hour before you can go home.
    • You will not be able to drive. You will need to have someone take you home and stay with you until the next morning.
    • Results of the angiogram are available late the same day. You may need to stay in the hospital overnight if there are concerns with bleeding or how your heart is working.

Important

Your yearly transplant evaluation does not replace the physical exam you should schedule every year with your regular doctor.

  • electrocardiogram (EKG): This painless test checks the electrical activity of your heart.
  • bone mineral density test: This is an X-ray to see how thick your bones are.

These tests are usually scheduled over a two-day period. You will receive a letter confirming your appointment dates and times. Depending on your health, you may need more tests.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Care After Heart Transplant, cvs-ahc-95405 (4/13)
First Published: 01/06/2013
Last Reviewed: 01/19/2018

Important
Your yearly transplant evaluation does not replace the physical exam you should schedule every year with your regular doctor.