What to Expect
If you need a kidney transplant, the kidney transplant team at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center performs a complete evaluation before you have surgery. You will spend two days in our hospital where you will have consultations with multiple specialists to receive personalized education and have all of your questions answered. Our pre-transplant nurse coordinators and physicians provide dedicated care and support.
Before we can list you as a kidney transplant candidate, you have to go through our evaluation process.
- The severity of your condition
- If you are healthy enough to have surgery
- If you meet the transplant guidelines
- If you have a support system to help you with recovery
- The best plan for your transplant surgery and post-transplant care
You may need to have:
- Blood tests
- Cardiopulmonary tests, including an electrocardiogram (EKG), cardiac stress test, pulmonary
- function test and a chest X-ray
- Imaging tests, including CT scans, abdominal ultrasound, renal ultrasound and vascular ultrasound
- Preventive care testing such as age-appropriate mammography, PAP and colonoscopy
- Tests to determine which type of kidney donor you are most compatible with
Other tests as deemed necessary
Once your pre-transplant evaluation is complete, our multidisciplinary transplant committee reviews the results.
The committee may decide to:
- Accept you for listing for kidney transplantation and place you on the list as an active candidate
- Accept you for listing for kidney transplantation and place you on the list as an inactive candidate (pending clearance of outstanding issues that are outlined for you)
- Defer you for additional testing, based on your medical condition
- Determine you are not an appropriate transplant candidate (if you are declined, our physician talks to you about your options)
Within 10 business days after the committee meeting, you receive a letter detailing the decision of the committee, including any recommendations and required follow-up.
Kidney Donor Options
Having a living kidney donor significantly improves your entire kidney transplant experience. We strongly encourage you to ask your family or friends to make the life-saving decision to donate. If you are uncomfortable asking someone to donate a kidney for you, please speak with your transplant coordinator or social worker. They help you devise strategies for discussing the topic with your friends and family.
The benefits of having a live kidney donor include:
- Shorter time on the kidney waiting list
- The ability to get a new kidney before you need dialysis (studies show this leads to longer-lasting transplants)
- Better kidney outcomes (longer-lasting and better function)