Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started with Jefferson's Kidney Transplant Program?

The first step is simple: You need to schedule an initial evaluation by calling 1-888-955-TRAN. You need to allow at least half a day for this appointment. During this visit, you will watch a short video that explains the process at Jefferson, and then you will meet with a transplant coordinator, social worker, financial coordinator and a nephrologist or transplant surgeon.

Will I receive a kidney from a live donor or a deceased donor?

It depends. If you have a friend or loved one who is able and willing to serve as a living kidney donor, you can receive an organ from him or her. If not, you will be added to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) list and will receive a compatible organ from a deceased donor when one is available.

If I go on the list, how long will it take to get a kidney?

Again, it depends. No one can control when or how organs become available. What you can do is ensure that you keep us one hundred percent up to date on all your contact information, insurance/financial information and lab tests. That way, if an organ does become available, we can reach you quickly and move forward with the transplant surgery.

Please note: If you have Type 1 diabetes and are experiencing kidney failure, the Kidney Transplant Program is an ideal place for dual transplantation. The Program benefits from being in an Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) where pancreas procurement is aggressively pursued. This enables patients to receive this dual transplantation more quickly than they could in many other parts of the United States.

A friend/loved one wants to donate a kidney to me. What do we do to start the process?

Jefferson's Transplant Program has a formal process for screening potential living donors. The first step is a series of medical tests to determine whether or not you and the potential donor are compatible. If you are not, we may be able to make arrangements through paired donation or "domino transplant." Either way, your friend or loved one will benefit from Jefferson's use of laparoscopic donor surgery – which typically results in smaller scars, less pain and faster recovery.

How do I know if my insurance will cover a kidney transplant?

Jefferson's Transplant Program maintains a team of resources – including a dedicated financial coordinator who works with every patient to sort through the money matters. We will work with you to determine coverage prior to initiating treatment.

Do you perform kidney transplants for patients who have HIV?

Yes. Jefferson is committed to providing transplant therapies to appropriate candidates.

Do you provide support groups for transplant patients?

We have a comprehensive team that includes transplant coordinators and social workers. Your transplant coordinator serves as your primary point of contact for questions and concerns. Our social workers are available to help support psychosocial and employment concerns. In addition, we often connect patients with past transplant patients who can serve as mentors, and we run a regular support group for patients who have completed their transplants.

Where can I learn more about what it's like to be a patient of Jefferson's Kidney Transplant Program?

Our patients often describe our Program as both highly innovative and highly personal. Check out our patient stories.

To schedule an appointment with Jefferson's Kidney Transplant Program, call 1-888-955-TRAN.