Kidney Care and Transplant Services

​Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get on the waiting list for transplant?

You will need to be evaluated by our transplant team and approved both medically and financially in order to be listed on the transplant waiting list.

Why do I need to wait if I have a living donor?

Your donor will need to have a thorough evaluation to be considered for donation. This takes an average of three months because donors are busy people, and we schedule the evaluation around their schedules. After the evaluation is completed, our donor and transplant team will review the results. Both you and your donor will need to be approved in order to schedule living-donor transplant surgery. Please ask your potential living donor to contact our living donor advocate at 206.598.3627 so that he/she may discuss the donation process and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Whom do I see when I come in for my first evaluation appointment?

A nephrologist (physician who specializes in kidneys) from our transplant team will meet with you and review your records. After this initial consultation, you may see other transplant team members, including a social worker, dietician, nurse coordinator and transplant surgeon either at your first or second visit. If you want to read more about the transplant process, a full breakdown of how it works can be found here.

How do I get to the UWMC?

You can find a map and directions to the medical center in your new patient packet. Your letter notes which clinic you will visit. General information about getting to and parking at UWMC is available on the Getting to UW Medical Center page .

Why do I need to identify post-transplant care support in order to be listed, even though there will be a waiting period before I have my transplant surgery?

The transplant team wants to ensure that you and your family understand the responsibilities of transplantation. You will be required to have someone to drive you back and forth to the post-transplant clinic for at least six weeks because transplantation is major surgery. You will also need help with daily activities, such as food preparation and laundry, because initially you will not have the strength to do these things yourself.

How do I arrange financial coverage for my transplantation and long-term medications? What if my coverage changes during my waiting period?

Our financial counselor will contact you before your first appointment to review your insurance coverage. Both the financial counselor and social worker will discuss long-term planning for transplant and medication coverage. If your coverage does change during your wait for transplantation, please contact your financial counselor as soon as possible.

Where am I on the waiting list?

Generally, the more time you spend on the list, the more likely you are to get a transplant. However, it’s difficult to get any more specific than that. We can typically give you an estimate of your wait time based on your blood type. Your transplant physician will be able to give you more information during your evaluation, as wait time partially depends on other issues, including compatibility with the organ (sensitization), willingness to accept high-risk donors and other donor characteristics.

How often do I need to come back to see the transplant team? Are you responsible for my long-term care?

The transplant team sees you to evaluate if you are a candidate for transplantation, but your primary nephrologist will continue to manage your care while you are on the waiting list. The transplant team will check in with you every one to two years while you are on the list to make sure you are ready for transplant surgery and update you on any changes. Additionally, if your medical condition changes, please notify the transplant team as soon as possible.

Following your transplantation you will see the transplant team 6-7 times during the first year. We will arrange long-term appointments for you based on our physicians’ recommendations.

More questions? You can find many answers to your questions in our Guide to Kidney Transplantation (PDF).