Once you are approved for a kidney transplant, you will be added to a waiting list for your donor kidney. At Sentara, we understand that waiting can be very difficult. Your individual transplant coordinator will offer support and information during your waiting period. In addition, these suggestions can help keep you healthy and prepare you for your kidney transplant.
- Stay healthy: Get regular exercise, follow your nephrologist’s directions about dietary restrictions, stay hydrated and continue taking all of your prescribed medications. If you smoke, stop. Smoking interrupts blood flow to bodily organs, including your kidneys, and can worsen your kidney disease. Smoking may also lead your body to reject your transplanted kidney after surgery.
- Continue dialysis: If you are already getting dialysis treatment, you will continue to do so until the time of your surgery.
Attend appointments: To maintain your place on the kidney transplant waiting list, be sure to attend all required medical appointments and complete your pre-transplant health testing.
- Attend appointments: To maintain your place on the kidney transplant waiting list, be sure to attend all required medical appointments and complete your pre-transplant health testing.
- Search for a living donor: Even if you do not find a donor immediately, keep trying. Post information on your social media accounts, send emails or postcards to friends and family about your need for a donor kidney. Learn more about living donor kidney transplant.
- Check in with your Sentara transplant coordinator: Your personal coordinator can answer any questions you have about your impending transplant and update you about your position on the waiting list. If you have any changes in your health, such as a hospitalization, blood transfusion, weight gain or loss, change of insurance or if you have moved or changed your phone number, you should alert your transplant coordinator immediately.
- Consider multiple waiting lists: Sentara allows patients to put themselves on transplant waiting lists at other hospitals in addition to ours. Being on several waiting lists can sometimes decrease the amount of time you wait for a donor kidney.
Keep in mind, though, that you will need to complete pre-transplant evaluations for each transplant center. Check with your insurance to see if they cover the cost for multiple evaluations.