Frequently Asked Questions About Kidney and Pancreas Transplant

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When Do I Start My Transplant Evaluation?

Patients with chronic kidney disease or diabetes will be scheduled for a transplant evaluation following financial clearance from a transplant credit analyst.

Learn more about the pretransplant evaluation.

Can I be Listed at UPMC Even Though I Am Listed at Another Transplant Center?

Multiple listing is an option available, and it can help a patient get an organ as soon as possible. With more than 94,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant, our team also offers living-donor kidney transplant, which can allow patients to receive a transplant sooner.

What Type of Organ Transplant Am I Eligible For?

Based on your age and medical condition, the UPMC transplant team will determine if you are an appropriate candidate for a kidney transplant, pancreas transplant, or combined kidney-pancreas transplant. 

Learn more about transplant eligibility requirements.

Who Can be My Living-Donor? 

A living-donor can be a family member (related), friend (non-related), or even a stranger, known as an altruistic donor. If your donor has a kidney that would not match you for transplant, you and your donor can elect to participate in the National Kidney Registry's exchange program, where you are paired with another pair in the same situation.

How Do I Get on the Transplant Waitlist?

Following your transplant evaluation for eligibility, completion of the necessary testing, and obtaining financial clearance, a member of UPMC's transplant team will:

During your time on the waitlist, we ask that you keep your dedicated transplant nurse coordinator updated about changes in medical conditions or contact information.

When Do I Get the Call for Transplant Surgery?

The call for transplant can come at any time of the day or night, so you should begin preparing when placed on the waitlist.

It's important to have a travel plan in place. When an organ becomes available, you'll need to travel to UPMC Montefiore as soon as you receive the call.

These tips can help you prepare when you receive the call (PDF).

What Are the Advantages of Living-Donor Kidney Transplant?

Living-donor transplantation often leads to:

  • Elimination of waitlist time.
  • Fewer risks because of immediate kidney function after transplant.
  • Surgery that can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for the donor and recipient.
  • Transplant before the recipient is too critically ill. 

During your transplant evaluation, the dedicated transplant team will discuss with you the various transplant procedures available and which would be the most appropriate for you.

How Long is Transplant Surgery?

A kidney or pancreas transplant procedure typically takes four to six hours.

Learn more about kidney and pancreas transplant surgery.

When Can I Start Living a "Normal" Life?

Most of our patients return to a "normal" life within a few weeks months following kidney or pancreas transplant surgery. This includes returning to work and living with few dietary restrictions. Our team of transplant experts will provide posttransplant care to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home.

What Are the Side Effects of Posttransplant Medications?

Following a transplant, you will need to take medications for the rest of your life to prevent rejection of the newly transplanted organ. Because immunosuppression medications are meant to disable the immune system, you may be vulnerable to infections and some types of cancer.

How Do I Pay for a Transplant?

Go to UPMC Transplant Services: Financial Considerations to learn more about paying for your kidney or pancreas transplant.

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