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Becoming a Kidney Recipient

Receiving a Kidney Transplant

Once you have explored your options and decide to consider pursuing a kidney transplant, you will want to understand as much as you can about what’s involved and what you can expect before, during and after surgery. The sooner a kidney failure patient undergoes transplant, the better. In fact, it’s best to avoid dialysis altogether – or limit the time spent on dialysis. The staff at the Barnes-Jewish and Washington University Transplant Center will guide you through each step of the transplant process, so you can move forward as quickly as possible with your treatment plan.

Your first step, of course, is to be confirmed as an eligible candidate for transplant.

Transplant Eligibility

Unless you have phoned or visited a transplant center and been told you cannot get a kidney transplant, you may still be eligible. Many patients assume that they are too old for transplant, but if you are otherwise healthy, age is not a factor in determining your transplant eligibility. However, there are some other factors that prevent patients from getting a kidney transplant:

  • Current life expectancy of less than 5 years
  • Recent cancer (other than most skin cancers)
  • Uncorrectable heart disease
  • Untreatable psychiatric illness
  • Non-adherence to treatment (e.g. not taking medications as advised)
  • Active substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)
  • Lack of health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid coverage

Note: Patients with diabetes and/or high blood pressure can get a kidney transplant.

You and your doctor will discuss your eligibility during the transplant Evaluation Process. That’s also the time to talk about the surgery, costs, risks, medicines and post-transplant care. At Barnes-Jewish, our goal is to make sure every patient is informed and prepared for all aspects of kidney transplant. You will receive the support and resources that you need.

For additional information or to begin a kidney transplant evaluation, call [Dynamic_Phone_Number].

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