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Kidney Transplant

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Covenant Kidney Transplant Programs

If you choose to have a kidney transplant, you will meet with members of the transplant team for an evaluation. These members include the transplant surgeon, nephrologist, transplant coordinators, staff nurse, dietician, social worker and psychologist.

During the evaluation, the doctor reviews your medical history and orders a series of tests, including your blood and tissue type. The results of these tests help your doctors decide if you are a candidate for successful kidney transplantation. Additional tests or clinic visits may be needed for your particular medical condition.

Each transplant program has its own evaluation guidelines. Therefore, if one transplant program does not accept you for a kidney transplant and you disagree with the decision, you may want to consider applying to another transplant program.

Getting Started

To start, let your nephrologist know you are interested in a kidney transplant and discuss your options. Your nephrologist will then refer you to a transplant program. You may also contact the transplant program yourself for more information. If any concerns about making the referral arise, make sure you get specific reasons. Remember, not everyone is a transplant candidate.

Ultimately, you have the right to be evaluated by a transplant program. You also have the right to be referred to the transplant program of your choice.

Considering the Cost of Treatment

Discuss the cost of treatment during your evaluation. Medicare and most insurance companies usually cover the cost of the evaluation, kidney transplantation and follow-up care. This coverage includes the hospital charges, physician costs, charges for office visits and the medications required to prevent your body from rejecting the new kidney. Some patients will pay a portion of the cost for treatment, medications or office visits.

Questions You May Want to Ask During Your Evaluation Include:

  • Is transplantation the best treatment choice for me? Why or why not?
  • What are my chances of having a successful transplantation?
  • How do I find out if a family member or friend can donate?
  • What are the risks to a family member or friend if he or she donates?
  • If a family member or friend doesn’t donate, how do I get placed on a waiting list for a kidney?
  • How long will I have to wait?
  • What are the symptoms of rejection?
  • Who will be on my health care team? How can they help me?
  • Who can I talk to about sexuality, finances or family concerns?