The Transplant Process

The process of organ transplantation can be very confusing, but it helps to inform yourself as soon as possible. Here are some quick summaries of what you can expect from different stages of the process.

Contact Us

To speak with someone about our services, please call 410-328-5408 or 1-800-492-5538.

Before the Transplant

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Staying in Touch

An organ may become available at any time of the day or night. We keep a file of all telephone numbers where patients may be reached. Please inform the transplant center of any changes so that we may contact you when necessary.

Additional Tests

Patients usually do not return to the hospital until the actual transplantation surgery. Any needed tests can be scheduled by the patient's primary doctor or, in the case of kidney transplants, through the candidate's dialysis facility. The transplant coordinator makes sure all needed tests are completed.

The Waiting List

After a person is accepted, they are listed with the United Network of Organ Sharing.

The allocation of organs differs depending on the organ involved. For example, kidney allocation is based upon a point system which takes into account time on the waiting list, the degree of antigen match (how well the organ matches the patient) and blood type compatibility.

An organ may become available at any time, but because of the ongoing shortage of donor organs in this country, potential recipients may be on waiting lists for a year or more.

The Patient Educational Series

Because there are many emotional issues for potential transplant recipients and their families, UMMC has an active patient educational series. This series meets in person each month and is open to everyone on the waiting list, as well as all patients who have already received transplants. All issues related to transplant can be discussed in this trusting, caring atmosphere.

Living Donations

In the case of kidney and liver patients, the identification of possible living donors is an important part of the pre-transplant screening process. We encourage family members, spouses and friends to consider making this most precious gift.

The transplant coordinator can answer specific questions about living donations.