Before a Kidney Transplant
Get a Referral
The transplant process begins with a referral. You can either:
- Get referred by your family doctor, your nephrologist or staff at your dialysis unit
- Contact our referral coordinator yourself
Next, our referral specialist will ensure that you have adequate coverage for a kidney transplant evaluation. The specialist also works with your healthcare team to obtain medical records prior to your appointment.
Get started: Call 800.543.8814.
The Evaluation Process
Before your visit to the transplant clinic, have your medical records sent to us, which include:
- Your medical history
- Recent diagnostic studies, such as chest X-ray, heart test or blood work
We’ll work with your referring provider to get this information.
Your first visit will take several hours. It will include:
- A one-hour class that reviews all aspects of kidney transplant
- Individual meetings with a:
- Transplant surgeon
- Transplant nephrologist
- Nurse coordinator
- Financial coordinator
- Social worker
Waiting for A Kidney
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) manages the wait list for transplant organs. UNOS is a federally regulated, non-profit organization that uses a complex set of factors to ensure distribution of organs is handled fairly.
Kidneys are allocated based on several factors, including:
- Your length of time on dialysis
- Your length of time on the waiting list
- Your blood type
- Characteristics of the donor
Patients who are expected to need a kidney for the longest time will be matched with kidneys that are expected to last the longest.
How Long Will I Wait?
Most patients will wait between 2-6 years before being offered a kidney.
When a Kidney is Available
Patients must be prepared at any time to receive an organ offer. This means you should:
- Have a plan for transportation
- Identify someone who will care for activities at home while you are hospitalized
- Identify a care partner who will be available to help you at the time of transplant and afterwards
Learn more about kidney transplant surgery.