Assessment

What happens at the assessment clinic?
The assessment clinic is an opportunity for you to get to know us and for us to get to know you. You will meet with our transplant doctors and nurse coordinators. We will take a medical history and do a physical assessment. We will review with you the benefits and risks of an islet transplant. We will then review with you where you fit within our program. This assessment will take approximately one to two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. You will then have an opportunity to review what you have heard and we will follow up with you within one to two weeks. If you fit the criteria and if you are interested in proceeding, we will offer you an opportunity to participate in a full assessment.

What is a full assessment?
If you qualify and if you decide that you would like to undergo a full assessment we will make arrangements for one to two weeks of studies that are part of our assessment. There may be additional tests requested as determined by your medical condition.

A brief explanation of each test can be found in appendix A.

Blood tests
Blood tests are part of your assessment. There are many tubes drawn; however, the amount of blood drawn is much less than what would be given during blood donation and should not affect your health.

After the tests
The tests will be completed over one to two weeks. After the tests are completed, you will need to wait for approximately two to six months for a decision about whether transplantation is an appropriate course of therapy for you. This time is needed to collect and review all the results. You may require more tests if there are any concerns. Once all tests are completed, the islet transplant team will review the information and determine the appropriate course of action. The transplant coordinator will notify you about your results.

What if I meet the requirements for the program?
If you meet all the program criteria you will be asked to meet with our Clinical Director. He will review your case, and the risks and follow-up required for an islet transplant. If you still wish to participate, you will meet with the coordinator to review the procedure for coming in for a transplant.

What happens while I am waiting to be called?
Your first duty is to ensure that you have transportation to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton at any time. You must ensure that your provincial medical coverage is current. We strongly recommend that you have supplementary medical insurance that covers medication costs. If you have any questions please discuss them with the patient and family supports coordinator.

It is best to be prepared in advance for a trip to the hospital for transplantation. You may want to have arrangements made for your responsibilities at home to be taken over by others. Often patients will make a list of chores and delegate who will do them while they are away. These friends and family members can be activated with a phone call at any time. Transplantation often occurs on weekends or at night.

It is important to have a bag packed. Review what is in the bag at regular intervals. Our weather in Edmonton is always changing. You should bring any medications you are currently taking with you when you are called in for the transplant procedure. It is important that you bring your glucose monitor and monitor your glucose regularly even while in hospital.

Some work while you wait
If your condition changes it is important that you see your regular physician and let the transplant team know of any change and treatment that you require. During this waiting period the islet transplant team will NOT take over the responsibilities of your regular physician. You must notify the transplant team if you start or stop any medications while you are waiting for your transplant. It is very important that you do not start or stop taking aspirin without discussing this with the transplant team.

Continue to test your blood sugars daily (minimum of four tests a day). A meter will be given free to all patients assessed for an islet transplant (test strips are not supplied).


For more information contact the Clinical Islet Transplant Program in Edmonton:

Clinical Islet Transplant Program
2000 College Plaza
8215-112th Street Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2C8
780-407-1501(phone)
780-407-3850(fax)
Email: isletprogram@islet.ca