Adult Kidney Transplant
If you are facing end-stage renal disease or kidney failure, dialysis may end up being a life-saving process for you. However, most patients cannot—or would rather not—live forever on dialysis. It takes up precious time you could be using for more important things like hobbies, spending time with family and traveling.
A kidney transplant is generally a more successful, long-term solution than dialysis. Many patients who have kidney transplants say they are more energetic than before and have much more time for work, family and things they enjoy.
At Sentara, our goal is for you to live longer and better. The national Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients has ranked the Sentara Transplant Center as one of the top hospitals for adult kidney transplant survival rates in the state of Virginia. This means many patients live longer, fuller lives after transplantation at Sentara.
Adult Kidney Transplant: Expert Care at Sentara
You can count on Sentara’s board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeons to give you the best possible care throughout your transplant process. Meet our kidney transplant team.
Features of our care include:
- Community-based outreach: To save you time and stress, we arrange for you to complete most pre-surgery tests and many post-surgery evaluations at Sentara facilities close to your home.
- Your own transplant coordinator: A single individual will help you coordinate every step of your transplant process. Most coordinators are conveniently located in community dialysis centers. Our patients routinely tell us that talking to a single “point person” during the pre-transplant process makes this time much easier.
- Multi-organ transplants: Sentara is the only center in southeastern Virginia with the expertise to perform multi-organ transplant procedures such as kidney-pancreas transplants.
The Kidney Transplant Process
We want you to fully understand what to expect during the transplant process. The more you know, the more comfortable you will feel about the preparations you need to make. At Sentara, we work with you to streamline every step.
- Consult your nephrologist: Your doctor knows you and your health history and can help you determine if you are a good candidate for kidney transplant surgery. Your nephrologist will then send your medical information to our Sentara Transplant Center.
- Undergo pre-transplant health testing: If you decide to take the next step toward transplantation, we will ask you to undergo a series of medical tests. These screenings help ensure that you are healthy enough for transplant surgery and include:
- Blood tests
- Ultrasound studies
- Cardiac studies
- PAP smears and mammograms for women
- Join the transplant waiting list: Once you are approved for a transplant, you will be placed on the waiting list for a donor kidney. You will also be assigned a personal transplant coordinator. Your coordinator can answer any questions you have about preparing for transplant surgery, and help coordinate your pre-surgical health testing.
- Attend a transplant class: We offer a 3-hour class about kidney transplants for you and your loved ones. This session is filled with useful and supportive information. On the same day as your transplant class, you will also meet with a Sentara transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, social worker, financial coordinator and dietitian.
Types of Kidney Transplants
The best source for a new kidney is usually a family member related to you. If you are considering a kidney transplant, it is never too early to start talking with family and friends about donating a kidney. Read more about living donor kidney transplant.
Your new kidney will come from one of the following sources:
- Living donor you know
- Living donor who was matched with you through a “paired exchange”
- Altruistic donor, or individual who donated a kidney without specifying who would receive it
- Deceased individual who donated their kidneys