Kidney Desensitization Program
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
- Kidney Desensitization Program Frequently Asked Questions
- A Patient Story: Cheryl
- A Patient Story: Rose
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).