Kidney Transplant Transplant Services

Preparing You for Kidney Transplantation

The first step we take in preparing you for kidney transplantation is to determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure. Our evaluation process is very thorough, so expect to spend most of the day with us at the clinic, and by all means, bring family members or friends to the meeting.

Determining Candidacy

You'll be evaluated by a team comprised of a transplant evaluation coordinator, transplant social worker, transplant nephrologist and a transplant surgeon. Patients are not scheduled to see a transplant surgeon at their initial evaluation. In addition to evaluating your candidacy, the transplant team will talk with you and your family about all aspects of transplantation, including:

Following the evaluation, your case will be presented at the weekly Transplant Evaluation Committee meeting. The committee – which includes staff who participated in the initial evaluation, as well as other transplant surgeons, nephrologists and social workers – will help decide whether transplantation is right for you, and then inform you, your dialysis providers and your referring nephrologist of the decision.

Pre-op Preparation

When your candidacy is approved, you’ll be placed on the deceased donor organ waiting list. If you’re fortunate enough to have family or friends who wish to be living donors, we’ll make arrangements to evaluate them for compatibility.

Regardless of which type of donor you have, you need to complete a series of tests and consultations recommended by the committee before you can receive a kidney transplant.

Potentially lengthy wait

Because the waiting period is often several years, you’ll likely be asked to undergo periodic testing to remain “active” on the waiting list. The Histocompatibility Lab will request regular blood samples to test your antibody levels. Dialysis units are requested to provide monthly medical updates on your health.

Just as important, because of the extended waiting period, you absolutely must inform your transplant team about any serious changes in your health. Keeping us updated improves the chances of a timely transplantation.

During the waiting period, your referring physician continues to be your primary source of care, though your Evaluation Coordinator is always available to take your questions, as well as those from your referring physician.

Immediately Pre-Surgery

If you’re receiving a kidney from a living donor, you have the flexibility of scheduling your date of surgery. Both you and your donor arrive at the hospital one day prior to surgery, where you undergo final evaluation and testing.

If you’re receiving your kidney from a deceased donor, because of the sensitive nature of preserving the kidney for transplantation, you may need to return to Stanford Hospital on short notice at any time of day to undergo your procedure.

If you and your family traveled a long distance to Stanford for your initial evaluation, we can provide help getting back to Stanford when an organ is available. 


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