Dedicated to giving you the best care

UW Health's Renal Autotransplant Program is the largest program of its kind in the United States. People seek our expertise from across the nation and around the world. Our experts diagnose and treat people experiencing loin pain-related issues and other medical concerns.

Loin pain-related issues and other concerns that might require an evaluation for renal autotransplant include:

  • Primary loin pain hematuria syndrome

  • Nutcracker syndrome

  • Kidney stones with chronic flank pain (pain between the ribs and hip)

  • Any other rare renal pain syndrome

  • Renal artery aneurysms

  • Ureteral injury/dysfunction

Frequently asked questions

During a renal autotransplant surgery a doctor removes the kidney that is causing pain and places it in a new location in the body.

Renal autotransplant FAQs

Adults and children who may benefit from renal autotransplant include those with loin pain hematuria syndrome, nutcracker syndrome and individuals with ureteral injury or dysfunction.

Loin pain hematuria (LPHS) is a rare disorder that includes unexplained flank pain (pain between the ribs and hip) and blood in the urine. LPHS pain can be intermittent or constant and often debilitating. It may include radiating pain to the bladder or groin, urinary discomfort, nausea and vomiting.

Nutcracker syndrome is a rare vein compression disorder in which an artery in the abdomen squeezes (compresses) the left renal vein and impairs the blood flow draining the kidney. This can cause many chronic problems, but the most significant is persistent left-sided abdominal and flank pain.

Experience our program's commitment to patients.

Testing and procedures

From consultation to transplant, our renal autotransplant team includes experts in every stage of renal autotransplant. Our services include:

  • Evaluation and diagnostic testing

  • Financial/insurance assistance

  • Dedicated social work services

  • Renal autotransplantation


Our UW Health renal autotransplant team will evaluate you to determine your treatment plan. During this evaluation, you will meet with our team to discuss your medical history. They may order lab work or other tests. This team will answer your questions and offer additional information.

Waiting period

If you are approved as a candidate for renal autotransplant and choose to proceed, we will schedule your surgery. Our financial counselor will work with your insurance to get approval. Your pre- and post-surgery visits will be scheduled.


You will come to the hospital two days before surgery for tests that could include lab tests, EKG and chest X-ray. We will review your history and complete a physical and share instructions for your care. You can expect to spend five to seven days in the hospital after surgery.

Follow-up care

You must have a support person able to care for you 24/7 from the time you leave the hospital until your first post-surgery visit. That visit is usually two to three weeks after surgery. These visits can include lab tests, stent removal and time with the renal autotransplant team.

Meet our team

A highly skilled team

Diagnosing and treating loin pain is a complex process. Our team focuses on making your experience as seamless as possible.

The UW Health renal autotransplant team is dedicated to serving people whose loin pain might mean that they need renal autotransplant.

Our program includes surgeons, nephrologists (kidney specialists) for adults and children, a urologist, interventional radiologists and advanced practice providers. They work closely with our program manager, nurse coordinator and social worker to guide you through your transplant. Our financial counselor can connect you with helpful resources. Our team is committed to working together to provide care tailored to your specific needs.

Our providers


Top-ranked care close to you

Our renal autotransplant team serves patients and performs surgeries at University Hospital in Madison, Wis.

  • University HospitalRenal Autotransplant Program
    • 600 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 262-5420
    • Closed now
    • View hours, services and more

Patient stories

Stories of success

Our patients share their stories of success and a new life free from pain.

Did you have a life-changing health care experience? Sharing your story can inspire and help other people through difficult times.

Share your story

Josh Young smiling and holding his daughter.
Josh Young"The care was phenomenal."
Josh's life was changed drastically when he received two renal autotransplant surgeries from the team at UW Health.
Sophie Beyer smiling outdoors.
Sophie Beyer"We loved the doctors at UW Health and we were so impressed with the care."
A rare condition lead to years of pain for Sophie. The team at UW Health was able to relieve her of chronic pain through a renal autotransplant.
Jenna Christoffer
Jenna Christoffer"I’ve just been so happy with UW Health. The staff has been amazing."
For years, Jenna Christoffer was not able to be the kind of mom she hoped to be. She wanted to play with her kids, but was simply too tired, so she would suggest a movie night instead. She also had persistent headaches and chronic pain in her left side, but doctors simply shrugged their shoulders and said she would have to learn to live with it.
Nikki Loichinger smiling outdoors.
Nikki Loichinger"I felt like my body had been craving pain relief for so long; I was ready to start life again."
Over the past 20 years, Nikki Loichinger has seen gastroenterologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, gynecologists and pain specialists. But until she sat down with the Renal Autotransplant Program staff at UW Health in Madison, she never found anyone who understood what was wrong with her—or how to fix it.
Searfoss 754430-8276
Sarah Searfoss"Someone automatically believed me and knew exactly what I was talking about."
Although many people have never even heard of vascular compression syndromes, Sarah Searfoss knows they are very, very painful — and hard to diagnose. After years of pain and being dismissed as anorexic, bulimic and a drug-seeker, she found the UW Health Renal Autotransplant Program, and a treatment that worked.
Heather Allsbrooks smiling outdoors in a chair.
Heather Allsbrooks"I can honestly say for the first time in a long time that I’m thinking about my future."
Heather Allsbrooks would love to take her three children to Europe someday. In the near future, she and her husband are hoping to arrange a family trip out West.
Woman smiling outdoors
Marlene Manion"Everyone was so wonderful."
After ten years in chronic pain, multiple surgeries and living with frustration from pain that kept returning, Marlene Manion learned of our program and had an evaluation that changed her life forever.

Patient and support services

Frequently asked questions about renal autotransplant

Learn about frequently asked questions regarding renal autotransplant.

Renal autotransplant FAQs

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