transplant nurse and patient

Kidney Transplant Evaluations

Patients with kidney disease can schedule an appointment to be evaluated at any time. If you began dialysis before you were listed for a transplant, your waiting time will now be calculated from your dialysis date. This was changed under the new kidney allocation guidelines issued by United Network of Organ Sharing.

Once you contact the Transplant Institute you will be scheduled for a pre-transplant evaluation. This is conducted to determine your overall health to ensure you are eligible for transplant surgery.

This evaluation includes the following:

  • Initial education program about the benefits and details of kidney transplantation
  • Interview with one of our transplant nephrologists to answer your questions about transplant
  • Review of your medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Psychosocial evaluation with a  transplant social worker to address your support needs following transplant
  • A meeting with our financial counselor to make sure you are fully covered for your post-transplant expenses.
  • Blood tests for tissue typing and antibody screening
  • Information for you on benefits of living donation and contact information for any interested donors.
  • Consultations with various specialists to make sure transplant is a safe option for you
  • Presentation to our multidisciplinary pre-transplant committee for final review and approval of your transplant candidacy.

Additional testing may be required, depending on your individual needs.

Following a successful evaluation, you will be placed on the transplant waiting list. You, your nephrologist and your dialysis unit (if you are on dialysis) will be notified. During your time on the waitlist it is important that you manage your condition.

All patients who qualify for transplant are placed on a waiting list for a deceased organ, even if a potential living donor is available.

Donor

The fastest way to receive a kidney transplant is a living donor kidney transplant. This may make it possible for you to stop dialysis sooner or even to avoid starting dialysis. Learn more about living kidney donation

If you require a deceased organ, the transplant program coordinates with the local and national transplant lists to find a donor organ. Organ allocation is based on medical urgency, time on the waiting list, and blood type compatibility. Living donors also must undergo evaluation and must have compatible blood types; however, the surgeons at Georgetown have pioneered new ways of transplanting kidneys from donors with incompatible blood types to the recipients.

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute is a national leader in kidney exchange and the management of recipients and donors who have incompatible organs or immune-system sensitivity. Only a handful of transplant centers in America offer this to their patients. Read more here or talk to your kidney coordinator.

Process

The entire pre-transplant evaluation, including imaging and lab studies, can be accomplished at any of our convenient sites, but the transplant procedure will be performed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital or MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

During kidney transplant surgery, your physician makes an incision in your lower abdomen and places the donor kidney near your bladder in your lower abdomen. Placing the kidney in this position allows it to be easily connected to blood vessels and the bladder.

Blood supply is restored to your new kidney by linking your kidney to your blood vessels. The ureter of the new kidney is then attached to your bladder to allow usual function to resume.

Your old kidneys typically are not removed unless there are other complicating conditions related to leaving it in place.

Recovery

Your MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute team will monitor your recovery process to ensure that there are no complications. Because of years of experience and improved drugs to prevent rejection, kidney transplants are often very successful with few complications after transplantation.

Kidney transplantation usually requires a hospital stay of several days.

Learn more about kidney transplant evaluations.

Schedule an Evaluation

To schedule a kidney transplant evaluation at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center,
call 202-444-3700.