Annual Exams After the Pediatric Heart Transplant

Each year, around the anniversary of a child’s heart transplant, a complete exam will be done. This is an all-day event, so families must plan for it. The child will have a:

  • Heart biopsy 
  • Full cardiac cath to check the coronary arteries
  • Echo to check heart function
  • Chest X-ray
  • Gallbladder ultrasound to look for gallstones

Cyclosporine can cause gallstones to form. If the child has gallstones, the gallbladder may need to be removed. If the gallbladder is not removed, a stone could be released and block the duct coming from the gallbladder, causing it to rupture. This could lead to a life-threatening infection. A general surgeon will check the child to decide on the best treatment if he has gallstones.