Patients with renal failure can schedule an appointment to be evaluated at any time. If you began dialysis before you were listed for a kidney 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 kidney 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 kidney 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 kidney 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 kidney 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 renal transplant are placed on a waiting list for a deceased organ, even if a potential living donor is available.
Living Donor Kidney Transplant
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.
Kidney Transplant Process
The entire pre-transplant evaluation, including imaging and lab studies, can be accomplished at any of our convenient sites, but the renal transplant procedure will be performed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
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.
Kidney Transplant 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 recovery.
Combined Kidney and Pancreas Transplant
A combined kidney-pancreas transplant is an operation to place simultaneously a kidney and a pancreas into someone who has kidney failure related to diabetes. Following combined kidney and pancreas transplantation, the kidney will be able to filter wastes so dialysis will not be needed. The transplanted pancreas will produce insulin to control the diabetes.
Evaluation, donor, and procedure information remains generally the same for this dual transplantation.
Learn more about combined kidney and pancreas transplant.
Why Choose Us for Your Kidney Transplant?
The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute is the area's best answer to the evaluation and treatment of chronic kidney disease, renal failure and complications of diabetes. Additionally, we are 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. Learn more about living kidney donation.
- We have successful outcomes and survival rates among the best in the nation.
- We are one of only a few centers offering kidney exchange and the management of recipients and donors who have incompatible organs or immune-system sensitivity.
- One of the most successful laparoscopic living donor kidney programs in the region. To get information on living kidney donation, please call 202-444-3714.
The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute offers the expertise of some of the foremost kidney specialists in the country. Our patients have access to a wide range of pioneering kidney transplant options.
Make an Appointment
Research & Clinical Trials
Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Specialists
Transplant Clinic Lab Hours
7:30 am to 3:45 pm
7:30 am to 3:45 pm
7:30 am to 4:15 pm
7:30 am to 3:45 pm
7 am to 2:45 pm
Expertise in Treatment of Pancreatic Diseases
Become a Living Donor
Give the gift of life. Are you considering donating your kidney to a loved one?
Living Kidney Donor Patient Information & Forms
- Living Donor Questionnaire and Welcome Letter - English (Online Form)
- Living Donor Questionnaire and Welcome Letter - Español (PDF)
Gain access to patient-friendly frequently asked questions, informative videos and our accessible locations.