When an Organ Becomes Available

When your transplant team is alerted that a compatible donor organ is available for you, your coordinator will immediately contact you. You will go to Columbia University Medical Center upon receiving the call, for admission to the cardiothoracic surgical service. There you will undergo a physical examination, chest x-ray and an EKG. Blood testing for final tissue typing will also be performed.

While you are at the medical center being prepared for surgery, members of your transplant surgical team will have traveled to the organ donor's hospital to personally ensure that the organ is satisfactory. This is reflective of the program's commitment to strict quality control. (If the team determines that an organ is damaged or infected, the surgery will be canceled.)

Meanwhile, you will be transported to the operating room. Once the organ has been approved for you, you will receive general anesthesia – and the surgery will begin.