The transplant team may perform one or more of the following tests and procedures to monitor a patient's transplant:
Ultrasound - This test is performed to make sure all the main blood vessels leading to the kidney are functioning normally. This test is also used to check for collections of fluid, such as blood. The procedure consists of placing a cool gel on the patient's abdomen, over which a wand (transducer) is moved to transmit sound waves. These are converted into images of the kidney and projected onto a television screen.
Kidney biopsy (test sample) - This test is usually performed to check for rejection, or other possible problems. This may be done in the hospital or in the outpatient/short-stay unit. The patient will receive special instructions regarding the procedure. Before the procedure, the patient will receive a numbing injection (local anesthetic) on the right side of his abdomen. Then a special needle will be inserted to withdraw a small sample of kidney tissue that will be examined with a microscope.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan - This is a type of X ray that allows the physician to view the patient's kidney from many different angles to detect infections, fluid collections, or other problems. The procedure requires that the patient drink a liquid that outlines his stomach and intestines and makes his kidney more visible; then he lies flat for 1 hour while the machine takes X rays around him.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - This is another type of test that produces an image. Somewhat like a CT scan, it also allows a patient's kidney to be viewed from different angles and in three-dimensional images. An MRI shows soft tissues, such as the kidney, more clearly than a CT scan does.