At UPMC Pinnacle we are proud of our transplant patient outcomes. Our team works closely with patients, living donors and their families, throughout the entire transplant process, including care for years after transplant.
Candidates for kidney transplantation are individuals with advanced kidney disease related to a number of illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney inflammation, polycystic kidneys, and other conditions. Patients may be considered for transplant if they have an estimated kidney function less than 20 percent, or if they are on dialysis.
When you are referred to UPMC Pinnacle for a transplant evaluation, you will be scheduled for two appointments. You will also receive a new patient packet to complete and bring with you to the first appointment.
The wait time for deceased donor kidney transplant in our region is four to six years. The call for the transplant can come any time of day or night. In most cases, the patient needs to be ready to leave home in two to three hours. The surgery typically takes three hours and the patient is usually in the hospital for five days, depending upon the recovery process. While recovering in the hospital, the patient will receive education about new medications, self-care, and follow-up.
At UPMC Pinnacle we specialize in living donor transplant. This type of transplant occurs when a living person volunteers to donate one of their kidneys to another person in need. Any person that is in good health can be evaluated as a potential living donor. Living donor transplantation has several advantages including reduced waiting time, longer organ life, and convenience for the transplant recipient.
Transplantation is a lifelong commitment to follow-up care. The first year will require frequent lab testing and clinic visits. Initially, lab testing will be two times a week and will eventually decrease to every three months. Generally, the patient returns to clinic every week for the first four weeks and then less frequently after that. After the first year, frequency of clinic and laboratory visits decreases significantly, but will remain a lifetime commitment.
Remember that you will need to take special medicines, called immunosuppressive or anti-rejection medications, following your transplant surgery to help prevent your body from rejecting your newly transplanted organs. It is necessary to take these medications exactly as the doctor prescribes for the rest of your life.
The transplant team provides lifelong assessment and support with the hope that, after transplant, the patient can return to a normal, active and healthy life.
Need more information? Call 877-778-6110
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