Evaluation and Waiting

At NewYork-Presbyterian patients are evaluated to see if they are eligible for transplantation with extensive testing. Depending on each patient's medical history these tests may include:

  • a variety of blood tests
  • cardiac testing such as stress test and echochardiogram
  • screening tests such as pap smear, mammogram, and colonoscopy
  • psychological, social, and nutrition evaluations

Information from all of these tests and interviews is used to determine whether a patient is eligible for kidney transplantation. If the team establishes that transplantation is a viable option, the patient is registered on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list.

Waiting

The length of time that patients must wait for a kidney transplant varies greatly. If a patient has a friend or family member who wishes to donate a kidney, the time to transplantation may be a matter of just weeks or months. If a patient does not have a living donor he or she may remain on the wait list for a deceased-donor organ for several years.

Each patient is assigned a Transplant Coordinator, who will be his or her primary contact while waiting for the kidney transplant. Candidates for transplantation should:

  • keep the team's phone numbers accessible and be reachable by cell phone at all times so that hospital personnel can locate them and respond to the offer of a donor organ very quickly; if the patient is unavailable the organ may be offered to the next person on the wait list
  • arrange a transportation plan with the team so that they can quickly and easily travel to the hospital when a donor organ becomes available
  • contact the team if any new or significant health issues develop
  • maintain regular checkups with the team
  • be in the best possible physical condition to undergo surgery and to recover better and faster afterward
  • learn what to expect during their recovery and about the medications they will need to take after surgery.

Support

Patients are highly encouraged to take advantage of the educational materials and support groups at the Hospital. These resources are available to assist patients and their families with the multi-faceted challenges associated with the organ transplantation process. The support groups are tremendously helpful in providing encouragement and practical information.

Contact

NewYork-Presbyterian/
Columbia University Medical Center

Renal and Pancreatic Transplant Program
Phone: 212-305-6469

NewYork-Presbyterian/
Weill Cornell Medical Center

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs
Phone: 212-746-3099

Find a Doctor