Patient Education

Frequently Asked Questions

How will a kidney transplant change my life?

People who undergo kidney transplantation

  • have more energy,
  • enjoy a less restricted diet,
  • can return to work,
  • can travel more freely,
  • and, best of all, are free of dialysis.

Is kidney transplantation a risky or experimental treatment?

Kidney transplant surgery is a very safe procedure. In fact, transplant surgery

  • requires just 4 - 6 days in the hospital,
  • has a high long-term success rate, and
  • is considered the best treatment for kidney failure.

How can I get a new kidney?

There are two ways:

  1. You can receive a deceased donor kidney from someone who has died and whose organs were voluntarily donated. The waiting time is based on the availability of a compatible kidney and is not influenced by such things as age, race or ethnicity.
  2. You can receive a living donor kidney from a family member, spouse or close friend.

People who receive a living donor kidney transplant

  • do not have to wait for an organ to become available, and
  • can expect a long-term success rate, even higher than that of a deceased donor kidney transplant.

Living donors

  • are carefully screened to make sure they are healthy and able to donate,
  • lead a perfectly healthy life after donation,
  • will generally be in the hospital 1- 2 days following surgery and be back to their usual routine within a few weeks, and
  • will not have any medical expenses.


Will my age or my other medical conditions prevent me from being considered for transplantation?

Each patient is evaluated individually. Even patients over 65 can be transplanted. Many people with diabetes, heart disease or other medical conditions may also be eligible for kidney transplantation.

Can I afford a kidney transplant?

Medicare, Medicaid and most health insurance policies pay for the expenses for kidney transplantation, including the expenses associated with living donation. Should additional assistance be needed, the transplant center staff is available to help you.

How do I find out if I am eligible for a kidney transplant?

You, your doctor, or your dialysis staff may call a kidney transplant center for information and to schedule an appointment for evaluation.

For further information on kidney or pancreas transplantation, please call the Saint Barnabas Medical Center at 1-888-409-4707.

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