Kidney Desensitization Program
To learn more about desensitization or to speak with program advisers, please call 608-263-4298. The UW Health Desensitization Program is one of the few programs in the nation approved by CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
The internationally renowned transplant program at UW Hospital and Clinics is performing kidney transplants on patients who normally would be ineligible for a transplant. This is accomplished through the kidney desensitization program.
Approximately 30 percent of patients awaiting a kidney transplant are considered "sensitized." Sensitization has to do with a heightened number of antibodies found within the body. A person may develop these antibodies from a prior transplant, a blood transfusion or pregnancy. If a kidney transplant is performed on a sensitized patient, the patient's body will likely reject the transplanted kidney.
A process called desensitization removes these unwanted antibodies from the patient's bloodstream to prepare for a successful kidney transplant. Desensitization includes plasmapheresis treatments and immunosuppressant medications. A patient must have a live kidney donor to be a part of the desensitization program.
Learn more about our program