You will first have an evaluation by the kidney transplant team to
determine if you are eligible for a transplant. Even if you are not
considered eligible for transplant at another center, you can contact
Lankenau to be evaluated for a second opinion. We understand your
dialysis commitment and can accommodate your schedule. The evaluation
involves not only understanding your physical health but also the
psychological issues that may impact your ability to successfully handle
a transplant. During the evaluation process, the transplant nurse
coordinator will obtain a complete personal history, and you will
undergo a series of tests. You will have a meeting with the transplant
surgeon and nephrologist who will perform an examination, review your
history and answer your questions. Later, you will be notified about
your eligibility. Even if the team decides you are a good candidate for
transplant, the final decision to proceed rests with you.
The waiting period
If you are recommended as a candidate for transplant, it is important
that you quickly finish all the requirements necessary to be registered
on the national organ transplant waiting list. You will then begin a
period of waiting to be matched with a donor. The waiting period can
range from several months to several years; there is no way to predict
how long your wait will be. Each time an organ becomes available, a
process of matching begins in which a centralized system identifies and
ranks the most ideal candidates for that kidney. While you are waiting,
stay healthy and active. It is important to stay in close contact with
the transplant team during this time.
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Once you have had your transplant, you will immediately begin a recovery
period that includes rehabilitation, medication and a follow-up care
plan that will last for the rest of your life. You will likely be
discharged from the hospital less than one week after your surgery. To
minimize side effects from transplant medications, we avoid using
long-term steroid medications after transplant in most patients. Many
patients choose Lankenau because of their desire to avoid steroids.
You will return to the transplant clinic for regular assessments for up
to six months. During these visits, the physician will address your
medication management, routine medical care and recovery. After this
time, you will return to your referring nephrologist for ongoing care.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.