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.

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

Two women, Sophia and Emily Johnston, standing next to each other smiling.
Renal autotransplantSisters Emily and Sophia Johnson receive renal autotransplants to ease their pain
The only fortunate thing about Emily Johnston being diagnosed with an extremely rare pain syndrome was that her younger sister, Sophia, had recently received the exact same diagnosis.
Molly Pritchard portrait
Renal autotransplantMolly finds answers, relief through UW Health Renal Autotransplant Program
A self-described “people person,” Molly Pritchard works in sales, so she chats with others all day long. For the past decade, however, it was difficult for her to keep a smile on her face when she was in tremendous pain.
Man with a mustache and a black baseball cap, smiling.
Renal autotransplantJustin travels from Oregon to find relief from his pain
Justin Diamond figures he’s probably seen just about every urologist in central Oregon.
Maeve, sitting outside smiling.
Renal autotransplantThe experienced team at UW Health gives Maeve a new life
On paper, Maeve Taylor was not the kind of patient on whom a surgeon would choose to operate.
Blond woman smiling outdoors in a dark floral dress.
Renal autotransplantNo longer in pain, surgery changes Taylor's life
Until the summer of 2023, Taylor Nelson couldn’t imagine living her life without back pain. She had experienced it for as long as she could remember, but it was in high school that the pain really started to take center stage in her life.
Kristen, smiling in her hospital bed after her renal autotransplant surgery.
Renal autotransplantKristen finds relief from excruciating pain thanks to a renal autotransplant
Kristen Crawford never imagined she would need painkillers to get through the day.

More stories of success

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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