The Transplant Process - Kidney, Kidney/Pancreas, Liver
The transplant process can be broken into four major phases: evaluation, waiting period, surgery, and follow-up.
Evaluation is the time when we are making sure the patient is a fitting candidate for a transplant. The first visit is at the UW Hospital and Clinics. Patients meet with a transplant surgeon who will ask questions about their medical history. Tests and labs will be ordered to help decide if the patient can receive a transplant. Patients also meet with a financial consultant, a transplant coordinator, a social worker, and a dietitian who will answer questions and provide information. Potential living donors may be identified during this phase. They go through a separate evaluation to find out if they can donate an organ.
If a patient is deemed to be a transplant candidate and wishes to proceed, he or she will be placed on the transplant waiting list of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a federal organization that is in charge of organ allocation. This waiting period can last for days or years, based upon each patient’s own circumstance. If a living donor has been identified, the patient will be scheduled for surgery when the donor’s work-up is complete.
This is the time when the patient receives the organ and recovers in the hospital. While recovering from the transplant, patients receive education about new medicines, self-care, and follow-up tests and clinic visits.
The follow-up care starts when the patient goes home from the hospital and goes on for the rest of the patient’s life. A transplant is a lifelong commitment. Lab testing, clinic visits, and more follow-up cares are required to ensure the transplant is working. The transplant team provides lifelong support with the hope that, after transplant, patients can return to a normal, active, and healthy life.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/12/2011
Copyright © 10/12/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6775
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