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Kidney/Pancreas Transplant

Before Kidney/Pancreas Transplant

Upon entering the program, patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation by all members of the transplant team. Each patient is assigned a transplant nurse coordinator to facilitate communication before and after transplant. A full spectrum of care is available around the clock to support patients during every phase of transplant.

At Barnes-Jewish Hospital, transplant candidates and their families receive the one-on-one attention necessary to help them prepare physically, emotionally and financially for the major issues involved in transplantation.

Evaluation

Each patient considering transplant will have a comprehensive evaluation by all members of our transplant team. The transplant evaluation includes a transplant nephrologist, transplant surgeon, endocrinologist, nurse coordinator, dietitian, anesthesiologist, psychologist, social worker and financial coordinator.

If you have someone who is considering donating a kidney to you, please notify the kidney transplant coordinator so this prospective donor can begin a medical evaluation also. Your prospective donor may need to accompany you to your evaluation.

Part of the evaluation process includes several tests, which are done in one convenient location at the Center for Advanced Medicine on the campus of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. While we will try to coordinate tests on one day whenever possible, the tests may require more than one visit to Barnes-Jewish Hospital. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Angiogram
  • Abdominal sonogram
  • Ultrasound studies of the carotid arteries in the neck and leg
  • Vaccinations
  • Mammogram and Pap test or prostate exam

Based on your thorough evaluation, your doctors will determine if you are a candidate for a kidney/pancreas transplant.

Assigned coordinators

From the moment you begin the transplant process at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, you are assigned a transplant nurse coordinator who is available to you 24 hours a day in emergency situations before and after transplant. Your nurse coordinator will work closely with you and will be very familiar with your health status throughout the transplant process.

Waiting list

Once you become a transplant candidate, you will be immediately placed on a transplant waiting list through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS assists with the matching, transporting and sharing of organs throughout the U.S. This national list prioritizes organ allocation on the basis of the severity of illness, blood type and geographic location.

Waiting times vary for many reasons. The shortage of organ donors causes most patients to wait for a transplant. The length of time a patient spends on a waiting list depends on many factors including:
  • blood type
  • tissue type
  • height and weight of transplant candidate
  • size of donated organ
  • medical urgency
  • time on the waiting list
  • distance between the donor's hospital and the potential donor organ recipient

One of our goals through our transplant program is to keep patients home while they're waiting for transplant through specialized treatments, when possible. This makes the waiting time less disruptive to the patient's life.

We understand the wait for a transplant can be a frustrating and sometimes discouraging time. Support groups can help by connecting you with others who are experiencing similar circumstances. Our social workers and financial counselors can also help you through any social or economic issues you're facing as you wait for transplant.

Lodging information

Barnes-Jewish Hospital offers many convenient lodging options for our patients, whether before or after transplant. Both on-campus and off-campus accommodations are available. Some off-campus hotels offer special rates for Barnes-Jewish Hospital patients. In addition, some lodging expenses related to the transplant are covered by insurance. Call your insurance company to find out more or talk to one of our experienced financial counselors.

For off-campus lodging assistance and to receive extra special rates, call Guest Services at 314-362-5301 or toll-free 800-551-3492, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Insurance

The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Transplant Program accepts most insurance plans. However, insurance companies periodically change their coverage. Please verify your insurance coverage with your provider. Once you have started the evaluation process, one of our financial counselors who specialize in transplant coverage will be able to assist you with insurance issues.

For more information on the kidney or kidney/pancreas transplant program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call .

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