All of our dialysis facilities provide eligible patients with education and information regarding kidney transplantation. Missouri and Arkansas have several transplant centers, and we work closely with all of them to help our patients who desire a transplant.
To be eligible for a transplant, you have to be healthy enough for surgery, be infection and cancer-free, and have a full medical and psychosocial evaluation. If you would like to be evaluated for a transplant, our staff will send a referral to the transplant center of your choice.
You may need to check with your insurance to obtain a list of their preferred transplant centers. Our staff is always here to help you navigate the road to kidney transplant success. Once the center receives the referral, the transplant team will contact you to set up an appointment. The team will give you a complete physical exam, review your health records, and order tests and x-rays.
If you are evaluated and a transplant center tells you no, don’t be afraid to ask why. Sometimes it is just a matter of making medical changes (losing weight or quitting smoking) or referring you to another center with different criteria. People who are older or have health conditions, like diabetes, can still have successful transplants.
For patients who are being closely followed by our kidney doctors, you can start your workup and sometimes get your transplant before you need dialysis. This is called a “pre-emptive” or “early” transplant, and we have many patient success stories.
Usually the fastest way to receive a kidney transplant is to have a family member, spouse, or friend (superhero) offer to donate a kidney to you. The donor must go through screening to ensure their kidneys are healthy and that their blood and tissue types match yours.
If a living donor is not available, you can be listed on the UNOS (United Network of Organ Sharing) database. Once you complete all of your pre-transplant testing, the transplant center will notify UNOS that you are waiting.
Once you are listed, it is important you communicate with your doctors and dialysis unit if you become ill. You do not want to be sick or have an infection when you go for your new kidney. Kidneys are very valuable and you want to give your new kidney all the help it needs to be a good kidney for you.
Depending on your blood type, you might have to wait up to a year for a new kidney (if you need a kidney/pancreas it will take longer). However, we have seen many patients get a new kidney within a few weeks or months. The sooner you get listed, the better.
Branson Nephrology and our local dialysis centers will work together to get you tested and referred to a transplant center. Our doctors and nurses will follow you closely and perform monthly transplant labs, so all you have to do is jump in the car when you are notified that a kidney is available. Our best days are when a patient that calls to say, “I got the call. I am on my way!”
Reach out to us to learn more through our online contact form. To schedule an appointment, please call one of our dialysis centers.