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Transplant Recipient Information

Patient and Transplant Team Responsibilities

​​​​​​​While you wait for a kidney transplant

Once you are on the transplant waiting list, it’s important for the transplant coordinator to know where you are and how to reach you. During this time, you must also go to all of your scheduled tests and appointments with your doctor. You may also be asked to take another education class to help prepare you for a transplant.

Be available

You are always on call and may get a call at any time if a match is found. The transplant team only has a short time to reach you so make sure that all of your contact information is up to date. It’s a good idea to give landline numbers in case you are in an area with limited or poor cell service. If you know that you will be away and not able to accept a transplant, you must let the transplant office know.

If a match is found, a doctor will call you. They will ask you questions about how you’re feeling and if you have had any changes to your health such as a getting a blood transfusion or having an infection.

Go to all your appointments and take care of your health

It’s important to go to all of your appointments with your healthcare providers, including:

  • regular follow-up appointments
  • screening tests for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancers (based on your sex)
  • dental check-ups
  • blood tests
  • keeping your immunizations up to date

You will also need to have certain tests each year to make sure that you’re healthy enough to have a transplant. Follow the treatment plan that you and your kidney care team have agreed to. If you don’t follow the treatment plan, you may not be able to stay on the transplant waiting list.

Stay healthy while you wait

Everything you do to take care of your well-being now will help your recovery and long-term health after the transplant. It can be hard to stay hopeful when there are changes to your health or when you aren’t able to do your regular activities. But it’s important to keep following your treatment plan and make healthy decisions, such as quitting smoking, eating well, and limiting how much alcohol you drink. If you want more information about programs and support, talk to the transplant coordinators or the kidney care team.

​​​​​​​The transplant team

While you wait for a transplant, your main contact will be the transplant coordinators. They will call you to see how you’re doing, review your file, update your chart, order tests, schedule appointments, and keep your kidney care team up to date.  If there is a match waiting for you, a doctor from the transplant team will call you. The main nephrologist on your kidney care team will let you know the status of your transplant.

You will have appointments with the transplant nephrologist (kidney doctor on the transplant team) at least once a year to make sure you are well enough to have a transplant, or more often if your health condition changes.

You may also need to have appointments with the transplant surgeon if there are changes to the inside of your abdomen (belly), how the blo​od is moving through your body (called circulation), or your blood vessels. These and other medical problems may prevent you from getting a kidney until your health gets better. This does not mean that you lose your spot on the list. You will get your spot back when you are well enough to have a transplant.

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