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Kidney Transplant Process

At the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, our kidney transplant specialists combine decades of experience with the latest treatments and surgical techniques. We provide an expert level of care with a full range of resources so you feel supported throughout the transplant process. 

This personalized care begins with the initial evaluation and continues into your new life after transplant. 

The Kidney Transplant Process: What to Expect

We personalize our kidney transplant program to each patient’s needs. As we guide you through the process, we answer any questions you have and provide resources for any challenges you encounter.

Here’s what you can expect during the kidney transplant process: 

  • Referral: Your nephrologist, or kidney doctor, typically refers you for a kidney transplant evaluation. You can also contact our team directly to start the evaluation process. After we receive your referral, we assign you a transplant nurse coordinator. This coordinator guides you through the entire process, scheduling appointments, collecting necessary medical records and educating you about transplantation.
  • Evaluation: Next, our specialists perform a thorough medical and psychosocial (mental and social health) evaluation. This evaluation helps us determine whether a kidney transplant could benefit you while ensuring your health and safety. Learn more about what to expect in the evaluation process.
  • Waitlist: If the transplant team  determines that you are a good candidate for kidney transplant surgery, we add you to the national waitlist through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The waiting time for a suitable donor varies for each individual. If you know a family member or friend who is interested in donating a kidney, we determine whether they are a suitable match for you. Our comprehensive living kidney donor program offers multiple transplant opportunities – even if your potential donor doesn’t match you specifically. Learn about our living kidney donor options.
  • Surgery: Once a suitable donor is identified, we call you and prepare for your surgery. Find out more about kidney transplant surgery.
  • Recovery: Most people stay in the hospital about four days after kidney transplant surgery. Before you head home, our specialists help you prepare for life after transplant. We go over what medications you need to take (and why) and how to watch for signs of infection and organ rejection.
  • Follow-up: After leaving the hospital, you have frequent follow-up appointments so we can closely monitor your health. Eventually, you begin to see your primary care physician or referring nephrologist for routine medical care. We continue to coordinate with these doctors for the life of your transplant to ensure you are receiving the best possible care.

Contact Us

For more information about the kidney transplant program at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, call 855.925.0631.