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Patient Services
Organ Transplant

The Transplant Experience

Ambassador. Shepherd. Point person. Lifeline. These are just a few of the words Dorianne Perkins, RN, uses to describe the role of the transplant coordinator.

Transplant coordinators serve as the primary contact person for their patients—before transplant, during and after, on an ongoing basis.

“We want, not just a good experience for our patients, but a successful outcome." Find out how transplant coordinators provide support throughout the transplant experience.

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The Transplant Experience

Learn about what happens before, during, and after an organ transplant.
Organ Transplant

The Transplant Experience

Ambassador. Shepherd. Point person. Lifeline. These are just a few of the words Dorianne Perkins, RN, uses to describe the role of the transplant coordinator.

Transplant coordinators serve as the primary contact person for their patients—before transplant, during and after, on an ongoing basis.

“We want, not just a good experience for our patients, but a successful outcome." Find out how transplant coordinators provide support throughout the transplant experience.

Stage One: Before a Transplant

  • Are You Eligible for a Transplant?

    Before a transplant team puts you on an organ waiting list, they evaluate you to determine if you are eligible for a transplant. The process usually follows these steps:

    • Referral gets you from your doctor to UVA
    • Transplant coordinator walks you through the process
    • Evaluation gathers information
    • Decision determines if you meet the criteria for a transplant

    Find out more about the transplant evaluation process.

  • Living on the Wait List

    While you wait for an available organ, we work with you on the logistics of:

    Whether you spend a long or short time on the waiting list, our transplant coordinators and the rest of the transplant team will care for you.

Stage Two: During Transplant

Transplant Surgery

If and when you get the chance for a transplant, everything changes, and fast. There is often a small window of time after an organ becomes available during which the transplant must happen.  It is therefore necessary that you are easily accessible to the our staff in order to ensure that an offer of an organ can be accepted in time. Each transplant center is given limited time to accept an organ offer.

During your hospital stay, you are carefully monitored and tested. Patients also receive extensive training on self-care at home and the drugs needed to protect the transplanted organ from rejection (called immunosuppressants).

How Organ Procurement Works: When an organ becomes available, a series of steps must be followed within 12 hours to get that organ to the transplant recipient. Find out about this tricky, impressive process of getting an organ from one person to another.

Step Three: After Transplant

Recovery & Beyond

Receiving a transplant means a lifetime of medication, frequent follow-up visits and ongoing monitoring by doctors and nurses at UVA.

  • Recovery time varies, depending on the transplant type, but may last up to six or nine months
  • Follow-up care appointments may continue on a monthly basis
  • Caring for yourself will require healthy living and practicing wellness
    Treatment Near You

    Transplant Clinics

    Get maps, location, directions, contact information for your visit to:

    Transplant Questions

    Do you have questions about transplant? Problems with your transplant center?

    The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) provides a toll-free patient services line to help.

    Call the toll-free line at 888.894.6361.