Kidney Transplant Program

Personal Care

At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, we have one of the leading kidney transplant programs in the country. We are the most experienced kidney transplant team in New England, and our physicians use a collaborative approach that has resulted in some of the best outcomes in the country, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. We coordinate your care and group your appointments to save you time. You always receive a personalized treatment plan at Lahey that includes the best care options for you.

There are several kidney transplant options, including:

If you are on dialysis or approaching dialysis, it is important to ask your nephrologist (kidney specialist) to set up an appointment with us. Together, we can begin to look at the possibility of a kidney transplant. Having a functioning kidney is a better long-term solution for end-stage renal disease. It is much more cost-effective compared to dialysis.

Kidney Transplant Evaluation

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.

Evaluation Process

Before we can list you as a kidney transplant candidate, you have to go through our evaluation process.

We determine:

  • 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)

Kidney Disease

At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, we provide expert care for transplant patients and non-transplant patients with kidney disease. Our care teams can handle your complex medical, surgical and transplant needs.

Our nephrology team specializes in treating chronic kidney diseases. We also provide dialysis services to patients who need them.

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