Waiting for a Kidney Transplant

Waiting for a deceased donor kidney transplant can take an average of three years, or longer. At Memorial Transplant Institute, our dedicated transplant specialists understand how stressful this waiting period can be. We stay in close contact with patients and provide the support you need to ensure you’re ready for kidney transplant surgery at a moment's notice.

Before Kidney Transplant Surgery: How to Prepare

We add all eligible patients to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) kidney transplant list, which matches organs from deceased donors with individuals based on the severity of their condition. Because there are more people in need of a kidney than available organs, most people wait at least three years for a deceased donor kidney transplant.

Our team is committed to working with patients to ensure you're ready for transplantation when a donor organ becomes available. We:

  • Tell you what to expect: Someone waiting for a kidney could receive a call that an organ is available at any time — day or night, even on a weekend or holiday. Because of the timely nature of transplantation, once a donor organ becomes available, you'll be asked to come to the hospital immediately. As soon as you're eligible for the national kidney transplant list, our transplant coordinator will start preparing you for what to expect when you receive the organ offer call.
  • Help you keep track of medical tests: There's no time to redo medical tests once an organ becomes available, so up-to-date medical tests are essential for transplantation. Certain tests need to be repeated yearly (or more often). We'll help remind you of testing requirements and give you tips to help you keep track of testing dates.
  • Provide regular follow-up care: If you're waiting to be matched to a deceased donor kidney, we'll see you every six months or sooner to monitor your health. During these visits, our team will also ask about the support network available to you and ensure that a plan for who will take care of you after kidney transplant surgery is still in place.
  • Support you at every point: Our caring professionals will point you to resources that can help you cope with any anxiety or stress you may feel during the waiting process. We'll make sure you know that you can always reach out to us with any questions or concerns you have.

Your life after kidney transplantation will change in many ways, from the kind of medical care you need to your energy levels and so much more. Start preparing yourself for what’s to come by learning about our resources for patients and families. You can also read our kidney transplant caregiver tips.

Learn More About Adult Kidney Transplant

We are always just a phone call away. You can learn more about our customized adult kidney transplant care by calling us anytime at 954-265-7450.

Learn More About Pediatric Kidney Transplant

If you believe your child may benefit from a kidney transplant, we want to hear from you. You can learn more about our personalized pediatric kidney transplant care by calling us anytime at 954-265-7450.