At the UPMC Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, your team will work as a cohesive unit throughout the transplant process to make the experience as seamless as possible. Our talented, highly skilled professionals will care for and guide you every step of the way.
As a potential candidate for kidney or pancreas transplantation, a transplant surgeon will evaluate you and:
- Discuss your condition with you and your family.
- Talk about appropriate treatment options, including transplant.
- Address questions and concerns about the procedure.
Our kidney and pancreas transplant surgeons also have a thorough understanding of the management of immunosuppressive drugs, which will help your body accept the newly transplanted organ and minimize drug-related complications posttransplant.
Specialists who will medically manage your care before and after kidney or pancreas transplant surgery include:
Dedicated Transplant Nurse Coordinators
Transplant nurse coordinators are registered nurses who have training and experience in caring for transplant patients.
Your dedicated transplant nurse coordinator will serve as your primary contact 24 hours a day and:
- Assist and guide you and your loved ones through the transplant process, from evaluation through postoperative outpatient care.
- Provide instruction and education about transplantation.
- Monitor your condition.
- Provide other members of the transplant team with appropriate patient information and test results.
Independent Living-Donor Advocates
If living-donor transplant is determined to be an appropriate treatment option for you, your donor will be assigned an independent living-donor advocate to act on the donor’s behalf.
The living-donor advocate helps to ensure the donor is fully aware of what it means to be a living donor and understand the risks of the transplant surgery. The living-donor advocate will voice any concerns of the donor to the multidisciplinary transplant team and will determine that the donor’s decision is fully informed.
Anesthesiologists are doctors who will administer the medications that keep you asleep during your kidney or pancreas transplant surgery and monitor vital signs such as:
- Blood pressure
Transplant pathologists are doctors who are involved in processing and evaluating tissue biopsies, as well as in diagnosing disease progression.
Transplant Psychiatrists/Behavioral Health Specialists
The transplant psychiatric/behavioral health team will help you and your family cope with the stresses associated with chronic disease and the transplant process.
Personalized services tailored to your needs include:
- Individual and family supportive therapy
- Relaxation and stress management training
- Addiction counseling
Transplant Social Workers
Transplant social workers are specially trained in the unique financial, educational, and support needs of each transplant patient. Before, during, and after your hospital stay, a social worker is available to provide educational information and individual, family, or group counseling.
They also can provide and connect you and your family with resources and information, including:
- Financial recommendations
- Community and support services
- Vocational rehabilitation
Your transplant coordinator will arrange appointments with a transplant pharmacist as part of routine postoperative visits.
- Are registered pharmacists who specialize in medical therapy for transplant recipients.
- Will care for you while you are in the hospital and after discharge.
- Work to ensure that your drug therapy meets your specific medical needs.
- Are available to answer questions concerning medications given in the hospital or at home.
Transplant dietitians are registered dietitians who have education and experience in managing nutrition for pre- and posttransplant patients. They can assess your nutritional status and make recommendations about therapeutic diets and nutritional supplementation.
Dedicated Transplant Credit Analysts
Transplant credit analysts are responsible for:
- Timely and accurate financial clearance of all potential transplant patients.
- Detailed verification of inpatient and outpatient medical benefits.
- Specific transplant and transplant-related coverage.
Transplant Office Assistants and Medical Assistants
Transplant office assistants and medical assistants are responsible for scheduling clinic appointments and all required tests before and after your kidney/pancreas transplant.
Transplant Guardian Angels
Transplant guardian angels offer support and assistance to transplant patients and their families during their stay at UPMC. They also provide non-medical care by:
- Serving as a companion and point-of-contact for the family during surgery.
- Teaching the patient and their family to navigate around Pittsburgh.
- Assisting the patient through the admission process.
- Guiding the patient and family to their room or preoperative area.