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Considering a Kidney Transplant

Who should consider a kidney transplant?

If you have kidney disease and declining kidney function, approaching 25 percent or less, you may be a candidate for kidney transplant. You do not have to be on dialysis to be eligible for a transplant. Studies have shown that a transplanted kidney has a superior ability to filter your blood than dialysis treatments and likely will result in improved length and quality of life and better long-term health. A transplant evaluation will determine if and when you would benefit from a kidney transplant. Approximately 30% of our transplants are preemptive, that is prior to chronic maintenance dialysis.

When is the right time to discuss kidney transplant with your provider?

Earlier is better.  Almost all patients with kidney conditions leading to Stage 4 or greater (GFR<30 ml/min) chronic renal failure are good candidates for transplant education and evaluation. You do not need to be on dialysis.  We will work with you during the early stages of your disease so you can be evaluated and start learning about the transplant process. In fact, approximately 30% of our transplants are preemptive.

You may not qualify immediately for a transplant, but starting the process sooner promotes seamless integration into the transplant process. So, contact the Kidney Transplant Center for a consultation about referral and evaluation.

What about costs?

Most private health insurance policies will cover many of the costs of kidney transplantation, including your medication. Many kidney transplant candidates are covered by Medicare, which covers 80 percent of surgical costs. Each candidate’s coverage is carefully evaluated to determine specific benefits and cost related to transplant.

A kidney donors' medical expenses including evaluation, surgery, hospitalization and after-care are covered by the organ recipient's insurance. It is against federal law for anyone to pay directly for living organs, but it is acceptable for a recipient to cover expenses for any travel, lodging or lost wages resulting from the donation.