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Before a Kidney Transplant

Referral

The transplant process begins with a referral by your family doctor or nephrologist. Or, you can contact our referral coordinator, who will collect your basic medical information. Next, our financial counselor will contact you to provide advice on basic financial questions and begin contact with relevant insurers.

Get started: Call 800.543.8814

The Evaluation Process

The next step is a visit to our transplant clinic. Our team evaluates new transplant candidates on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We like to receive medical records (a history and physical exam and any recent diagnostic studies, such as chest X-ray, heart test or blood work) before this visit. We will work with your referring doctor to get this information.

The visit includes a one-hour education class that reviews all aspects of kidney transplant that are important for you to understand as your consider this option. Patients then meet individually with members of the transplant team, including the transplant nephrologist, nurse coordinator, financial coordinator, social worker and nutritionist. The evaluation will take several hours.

Questions?

Download this free kidney patient education handbook for pre-transplant (PDF)

Kidney Transplant Team Review

After the evaluation process, the transplant team reviews your evaluation to consider your eligibility for placement on the national waiting list. We will also recommend a treatment plan for your continued care.

Waiting for A Kidney

The wait list for transplant organs is managed nationwide by a federally regulated, non-profit organization called the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS 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, length of time on the waiting list, blood type and 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. Most patients will wait for at least 4 years before being offered a kidney. Patients must be prepared at any time to receive an organ offer. This means having a plan for transportation, identifying someone who will care for activities at home while you are hospitalized and identifying a care partner, someone who will be available to help you at the time of transplant and afterwards.

Learn more about kidney transplant surgery.

Living Donation Benefits

A kidney for transplantation may come from a living or deceased donor. Living donors are often family members or sometimes close friends. The benefits of living donation include a shorter waiting time and the ability to schedule surgery to accommodate the needs of the recipient and donor. Also, a kidney from a living donor will likely function longer than one from a deceased donor.

Find out about what's involved with a living kidney donation.

Make an Appointment

Call 800.543.8814

You can also email us at transplant@virginia.edu or make an appointment online.

Treatment Near You

Transplant Clinics

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