If you are facing a kidney transplant, we know you have thousands of questions, and we are here to answer all of them. We will break down each part of your transplant process into steps, so you understand what you need to do next.
Our patients tell us this approach to kidney transplants make the entire process much easier for them and their loved ones.
Kidney Transplant at The UVM Medical Center
Kidney transplants are complex so the transplant surgery program at the University of Vermont Medical Center includes comprehensive treatment options and support services. This means different departments work together in the hospital to offer:
Both deceased/living donor transplant
Treatment for high-risk patients
Pediatric kidney transplant surgery
Laparoscopic nephrectomy to living donors, a minimally invasive surgery that offers the least discomfort to donors and a shorter recovery time. Smaller incisions make for faster recovery time and an easier surgical experience overall.
Learn more about kidney donors and waiting lists.
Treatment Options for Kidney Disease
Your kidneys cleanse your blood 24 hours a day. If your kidneys are not working well, you have two treatment options: dialysis or kidney transplant.
When the kidneys are unable to cleanser your blood, people often feel very tired and look puffy from the build-up of excess waste material and fluids. Your kidneys' major functions include:
Eliminating waste materials and excess fluid from the blood
Regulating blood pressure
Producing red blood cells
Regulating chemicals needed by the body
Dialysis can serve as a substitute for some of the things kidneys normally do. Many patients do well on dialysis and never consider transplantation. Others may struggle with daily dialysis treatments or do not feel well on dialysis. Considering whether to pursue a kidney transplant is a very personal matter that depends on your particular situation, as well as the opinion of trusted doctors.
Is Kidney Transplant Surgery Right for Me?
Most patients with renal failure (when your kidneys stop working) can be considered as candidates for a kidney transplant. You must undergo a transplant evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for transplant surgery.
Your transplant will involve lifetime treatment, including taking immunosuppressant medications every day, so it's important to think about how that will change your life. These medications help your body "accept" your new kidney. Ask yourself:
What are the risks and benefits to transplantation?
How will I manage the medication regimen after transplant?
Who will provide personal support for me?
What will the out-of-pocket expenses be?
What transportation options are available during the course of my treatment?
How often will I need to come back and forth to the hospital?
What will my insurance cover? Is there a cap or maximum on my insurance coverage?
Learn more about life after transplant surgery.
Kidney Transplant vs. Dialysis
A kidney transplant, like dialysis, is a treatment option for kidney failure. With a successful transplant, you will not need dialysis. Most patients live longer with a transplant than they do on dialysis and report living a more normal lifestyle. Their diet and fluid intake are easier to manage and our patients report higher energy levels after a transplant.
It is important to keep in mind that a kidney transplant is a treatment - not a cure.
Transplanted organs only work for a limited time. More than 80 percent of all transplanted kidneys from deceased donors are still working after two years.
After two years, kidneys from living donors are still working at a rate of 90-95 percent. This means 9 out of 10 kidneys from living donors are still functioning two years after surgery.
Transplant surgery will affect your life in many ways: physically, socially, financially, and emotionally. Read more about life after transplant surgery.
Referrals to The UVM Medical Center Transplant Surgery
Primary care physicians and specialist physicians refer patients to The UVM Medical Center Transplant Surgery. Our team responds to each referral. The referral process can be started with a phone call to our office: 802-847-4774.