The Kidney Transplant Program began in 1983 at LDS Hospital. Our program paved the way for future transplantation, providing excellent support of services critical to transplant success. We moved to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, in 2007 when the new facility opened.
Since 1983, our program has had 1,200 living donors and performed more than 3,000 kidney transplants; an impressive number given the shortage of available organs for all types of transplantation. We perform many transplants every year and our outcomes still exceed national averages.
Become an Organ Donor
PatientsYou should be the ultimate decision maker in directing your care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Tell us what you want. Speak up if you notice physical changes or problems. Let us know if you’re in pain or if you’re concerned about something. We also ask that you follow through on treatments and recommendations made by other members of the team.
PhysiciansOur experienced board-certified doctors and mid-level providers will help manage your daily physical care, perform procedures and coordinating with other consulting specialists.
DietitianA dietitian will help you maintain a healthy diet that will prepare you for transplant and give your body the calories and nutrition it needs to heal.
Transplant PharmacistA pharmacist specializing in caring for transplant patients will instruct you about the transplant medications, side effects, and how to take the medications.
Social WorkersOur social workers can provide emotional support to patients and families. They can help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss. They can also help connect you with community resources, housing and spiritual support.
Financial CoordinatorThe financial coordinator handles all billing and financial issues for both the patient and donor. They work closely with insurance companies to figure out benefits and request authorization. They can also help identify financial assistance options and handles all billing and financial issues.
NursesYou will see nurses both in the clinic and during your hospital stay. They will assist with your daily care, assess symptoms and side effects, manage medication administration and provide education about your plan of care.
Outpatient ClinicThe Intermountain Transplant Center is located on the second floor of the South Office Building (Building 1) at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. The clinic is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Inpatient Hospital UnitFollowing surgery, most transplant patients recover on the 10th floor of the patient tower (Building 5) at Intermountain Medical Center.
Each inpatient room has a fold-out bed for a caregiver to stay in if desired. All rooms have a television and DVD player, and there is a large selection of DVDs available to borrow on the unit.
Intermountain Medical Center is located in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley and is the largest structure in the area. Rooms boast beautiful and unimpeded views of the Wasatch mountains to the east and the Oquirrh mountains to the west.
ParkingFree valet parking is available at the entrances of both the Outpatient Care Center and the Patient Tower Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The valet will meet you at your car and park it for you so you can go straight into the hospital. No tips, please! Free public parking is available in the parking lots on west side of the hospital.
Public TransportationThe Utah Transit Authority's Murray Central Station is located directly across the street from Intermountain Medical Center. Front Runner trains from Ogden and Provo, TRAX light rail trains, and buses all stop there. TRAX trains offer transportation to the hospital from the Salt Lake International Airport. A hospital shuttle is available to give you a free ride from the station to the hospital. To contact the shuttle for a pickup, call (801) 507-7000.
Jerold Wilcox's Story
Living Kidney Transplant Recipient
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a kidney transplant?
What are the risks and/or side effects?
You will need to take medicines for the rest of your life to stop your body from rejecting (attacking) your new kidney. These medicines are called antirejection medicines or immunosuppressants [im-YOO-noh-suh-PRESS-uhnts]. They can have side effects, but for most people the side effects are manageable.
You should watch for signs of rejection and tell your doctor right away if you notice any of them. Some of the signs are fever, swelling, pain over the kidney, and urinating (peeing) less.
Sometimes, your body can reject a kidney even if you are taking medicines to stop this from happening.
Most kidney transplants last for years, but you might need another one someday.
What are the benefits?
A kidney transplant lets you live a more normal life. Some of the benefits are that:
- you will not need to go to dialysis after your new kidney starts working
- there will be fewer limits on what you can eat and drink
- you will probably have more energy
- you may be healthier overall
- you might live longer
How do I prepare?
If a kidney transplant is right for you, your name will be placed on a waiting list. The waiting period for a new kidney can be a few months to a few years. If there is a living person who wants to donate one of their kidneys and is a good match for you, the surgery can happen sooner.
When you are on the waiting list for a kidney, you should be ready to go to the hospital at any time. If you are getting a kidney from a living person, your surgery can be scheduled ahead of time.
How is it done or administered?
When there is a donor kidney available for you, more tests will be done to make sure it is a good match.
Before the surgery you will get anesthesia [an-uh s-THEE-zhuh], medicine that stops you from feeling anything and puts you to sleep. A kidney transplant usually takes about 4 hours. The new kidney will be connected to your bladder and major blood vessels. Your own kidneys will probably be left inside your body.
You will probably feel sore after the surgery. You might be able to get out of bed in a day or so and go home from the hospital in about a week. Before you go home, you will learn about:
- the medicines you need and how to take them
- what you should eat and drink
- what signs to watch for
- when to come back for checkups and tests
When will I know the results?
What are follow-up requirements and options?
- You should watch for signs of rejection and tell your doctor right away if you have any of them.
- You will need regular checkups after a kidney transplant, especially during the first year. You might need to get blood tests a few times a week.
- Tests will be done to see whether you are taking the right kinds and amounts of antirejection medicine. Your medicines may be adjusted. Tell your doctor about any side effects your medicines are causing.
- You might need to take other kinds of medicine to prevent possible infections.
- You should eat a low-fat, low-salt diet and drinks lots of fluids.
- You might be able to go back to work or school in about eight weeks.