Kidney Transplant Evaluation
Once you contact the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, you will be scheduled for a pre-transplant evaluation to assess 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 our transplant physicians 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
- 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 on the benefits of living donation and contact information for anyone who may want to donate a kidney to you
- Consultations with various specialists to make sure kidney transplant is a safe option for you
- Presentation of the information gathered 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 when you’re added to the waitlist. During your time on the waitlist, it is important that you manage your condition.
All patients who qualify for kidney transplant are placed on a waiting list for an organ from a deceased donor, even if a potential living donor is available.
Make an Appointment
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call our scheduling line:
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.
Patients with chronic kidney disease or kidney 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 be calculated from your dialysis date. This was changed under the new kidney allocation guidelines issued by United Network of Organ Sharing.
Kidney Transplant Surgery
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 normal function to resume.
Your old kidneys typically are not removed unless there are other complicating conditions related to leaving them in place.
Kidney transplantation usually requires a hospital stay of 3-5 days.
Kidney Transplant Recovery
Your MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute team will monitor your recovery to help avoid complications. Learn more about kidney transplant recovery.
“All my care has been well coordinated with my nephrologist and my primary care doctor. The MedStar transplant team have been awesome; they’ve become family. I have felt supported and informed through every step of the process and the care I have received has been extraordinary.”
2003 marked the beginning of John’s journey through the world of kidney disease and dialysis. After his first kidney transplant went into rejection, he found himself back on dialysis and the transplant waiting list. In February 2019, John recieved his second kidney transplant at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute. Thanks to his transplant, he is no longer on dialysis and life has changed markedly for the better.
Why Trust the Most Important Decision of Your Life to Anyone Else?
The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute is the area's best resource for the evaluation and treatment of chronic kidney disease, renal failure, and complications of diabetes. We offer the expertise of some of the foremost kidney specialists in the country and our patients have access to a wide range of pioneering kidney transplant options.
- Our outcomes and survival rates are 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. We have one of the most successful laparoscopic living donor kidney programs in the region.
We are also a national leader in paired 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. The Transplant Institute is a member of the National Kidney Registry (NKR). The NKR is a national paired kidney exchange program and the Transplant Institute is a leading center in the program. Learn more about living kidney donation.
Donors who undergo surgery at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute will qualify for the following protections through the National Kidney Registry:
- Donation life insurance with a $500,000 principal sum, covering a period of one year post-surgery
- Donation disability insurance with a $1,500 maximum weekly benefit, covering a period of one year post-surgery, with a 30-day waiting period
- Financial protection for complications that ensures donors are never asked to pay for a post-surgical complication that is a result of their kidney donation
- Legal representation should a donor’s employment or health insurance be negatively affected by living donation
Donors who undergo surgery at MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute may qualify for the following protections:
- Lost wage reimbursement up to four weeks for donors who will have a loss of income during their recovery period
- Travel and lodging reimbursement of up to $1,000. This includes expenses associated with the evaluation and surgery. Driving expenses are reimbursed at the IRS mileage rate and lodging covers a hotel near MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute.
To learn more, speak with a living donor social worker at 202-444-6038.
Additionally, we offer innovative programs that help you find a living donor, and make it easier for living donors:
- Microsites: We help you develop a website to assist with your outreach to potential donors
- Advanced Donation: Allows a donor to donate on a specific date even if the intended paired recipient is not ready for transplant
- Family Voucher Program: provides an opportunity for a non-directed donor to give the Gift of Life to someone while assuring their immediate family will be protected should they ever need a transplant
- Eplet Matching: We are one of the only transplant centers working with the NKF to use eplet matching to find more compatible organs for our recipients. Eplets are an even more precise way to see if a patient “matches” another person. Using this new technology recipients may need less immunosuppression medication after transplant, may have fewer complications from antibodies and rejection, and may keep their transplants longer.
See the resource section below for brochures with detailed information on these programs.
Kidney Transplantation: Ask Dr. Matthew Cooper
Kidney Transplant and Living Donation: Ask Dr. Jennifer Verbesey
Combined Kidney and Pancreas Transplant
A combined kidney-pancreas transplant simultaneously places a new kidney and pancreas into someone who has kidney failure related to diabetes. After successful kidney-pancreas transplantation, patients do not need dialysis and usually no longer require diabetic medications including insulin. Learn more about combined kidney and pancreas transplant.
- Important Transplant Links for Patients
- Breaking Free: Living Well with Kidney Disease Summer 2019
- Living Kidney Donors: Advanced Donation Program
- Exclusive Living Kidney Donor Protections
- Living Donor Compatible Exchange and the Kidney For Life Program
- Non-Directed Living Kidney Donation and the Family Voucher Program
- Your Search for a Living Kidney Donor: How We Can Help
- Transplant Digest Fall 2020