Kidney Transplant Surgery

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Adult Kidney Transplant Program

The kidney transplant program at Baystate Medical Center provides care for people with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

If you need a kidney transplant, or would like to donate a kidney, our expert multidisciplinary team will provide you with the highest quality of personalized care. 

We are here to guide you through your journey from referral to surgery and recovery.

Process for Potential Recipients 

1. Start a Referral

To begin an evaluation for kidney transplant, you will need a referral. The referral can be completed by yourself, your primary care physician (PCP) or by your nephrologist (kidney doctor) will need to refer you to our program. If you are interested in a referral, you may call our office, talk with your PCP or talk with your nephrologist. If you would like to refer yourself, or you are doctor and need to refer a patient, fill out our online referral form. Alternately, you may fax the form to 413-794-2329.

For providers that use TX Access, log in to file a referral.

2. Confirm Insurance Coverage

Once your referral is received, you will be called to schedule a patient education class to learn more about the process and we will verify that you have appropriate insurance coverage for transplant at our center.

3. Attend a Class & Make Sure Your Health Screenings are Up to Date

The next step is to attend a class at our clinic. This class will provide general information on the transplant process and the next steps to begin the evaluation.

Before beginning your transplant evaluation, we will need verify that you are up to date on your health screenings. Health screenings are recommended screenings by the American Cancer Society such as a colonoscopy, mammogram, pap smear, etc. What screenings are needed depend on your age and gender.

During this time, our team will work with you to identify a specific plan of care for any goals that need to be met prior to being put on the transplant waiting list (for example, smoking cessation).

4. Evaluation for Transplant Surgery

Once we have verified that you are up to date on your health screenings and an individualized care plan is made, you will be scheduled for an all-day comprehensive transplant evaluation appointment where you will meet with all members of our multidisciplinary team. You will also complete laboratory testing, an EKG and a chest X-ray.

After this appointment, additional testing or consult appointments may be required as part of your evaluation.

5. Listing on the Transplant Waiting List

Once your evaluation is completed, your case will be reviewed by our multidisciplinary team where it will be determined if you are appropriate to be listed for transplant on the deceased donor kidney transplant waiting list or scheduled for a living donor kidney transplant.

After being listed on the deceased donor kidney transplant waiting list, you will be seen in our clinic at least once a year, will be asked to keep up to date on health screenings and will continue to follow your individualized care plan. Additional consults and testing may be needed while you are waiting for a transplant to make sure that you remain as healthy as possible.

Who is Eligible for Transplant Surgery?

You may be eligible for a kidney transplant at our center if:

  • You are on dialysis or have a Glomerular Filtration Rate (kidney function) equal to or less than 20%
  • You are free from severe liver, heart, vascular or lung disease
  • You do not have active cancer or a history of cancer that has spread
  • You are not actively abusing alcohol, nicotine or illicit drugs
  • You are not overweight (BMI under 40 is recommended)
  • You are able to care for the transplant, take medications as directed, have at least one person to provide care to you and have transportation to appointments 

Types of Kidney Transplant Surgery 

There are two types of kidney transplant surgery:

  1. Living Donor Kidney Transplant: A living person donates a kidney directly to you or through a paired exchange. Living Donor Kidney Transplant is the fastest and best option because you get a healthy kidney from a living donor.
  2. Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant: The kidney is received from a deceased donor (individual that has died).

Kidney Transplant Resources

The following websites provide additional information on kidney transplant:

Kidney Transplant Testimonials

Tips from a Kidney Transplant Patient

If you or a loved one needs a kidney transplant, you don’t need to keep it to yourself for fear of making others feel pressured or uncomfortable. In fact, letting people know you are looking for a donor could be one of the most essential steps in finding a kidney. In this video, Ed, a transplant patient, shares his journey to finding his kidney donor and offers tips for spreading the word.

The Journey to Becoming a Living Kidney Donor

Donating life is one the most precious gifts you can give, and living donors can come from almost anywhere. While the decision to donate a kidney is not one to take lightly, a good medical support system can help a prospective donor make a fully informed choice without pressure. In this video, Melissa shares what inspired her to take the leap and donate her kidney, and how the experience positively impacted her life.

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