Types of Kidney Donors

Kidneys for transplant come from two possible sources: 

  • A living donor: A relative, friend, spouse, or a “Good Samaritan” can be a living donor. Even if your donor isn’t a perfect match they can still help you. Through our partnership with the National Kidney Registry, you will have access to a national network of organ donors. Both you and your donor must complete all necessary testing and be approved by the transplant team. Your transplant coordinator will discuss this option with you during your first clinic visit. If there isn’t a potential living donor, your evaluation will proceed and you will be placed on the wait list for a deceased donor organ (see below). Both are very good options with excellent outcomes. Learn more about becoming a living kidney donor.
  • A deceased donor: Deceased kidney donors are healthy kidneys from a donor who died from other causes - usually an accident or sudden illness. Any unusual donor characteristics will be discussed with you, if you are a potential recipient for that donor kidney.


Become an Organ Donor

There are many opportunities for people who wish to donate organs or tissues. Living donations are best, when possible, because it means shorter waiting times both for the recipient and everyone else still on the waiting list, and produces better surgery outcomes.

Our Kidney Transplant Process

Before You Arrive

If you have been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease and need dialysis, you can request a transplant evaluation. Alternatively, you may ask your nephrologist to refer you for a kidney transplant evaluation. To complete the referral process you will need to provide us with a variety of information:

  • Your current medical history and physical report 
  • Your most recent lab work 
  • Any radiology reports 
  • Any pathology reports, including a kidney biopsy, if available 
  • Reports of any surgery or procedures you have had (colonoscopy, pap smear, mammogram, abdominal surgery, etc.) 
  • Immunization records 
  • Documentation of any psychiatric history 
  • Reports of any dental work you may have had 

Once we receive this information, a transplant nephrologist will review it thoroughly. If we determine that you are an appropriate candidate for a transplant, we will schedule an appointment for you at our clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

After all of your testing is complete, your case is presented in a multi-disciplinary selection meeting. At this meeting, your options are discussed by surgeons, nephrologists, nurses, financial coordinators, social workers, and nutritionists. After this meeting, a majority of patients are placed on the waiting list for a cadaveric kidney donation or are scheduled for surgery if there is an approved living donor.

How does it work if I have a live donor?

The transplant of a live donor kidney will be scheduled during routine surgery time and days. It will be scheduled after the transplant team finishes the final medical, psychosocial, and financial clearance of both you and your donor. The timing of your transplant will be decided in conjunction with your nephrologists.