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Five Important Questions About Kidney Transplant Evaluations

A kidney transplant evaluation is an exam of your health and wellbeing done to make sure you’re physically and emotionally ready for transplant surgery. This is an important step if you’re looking into a kidney transplant, and you may have questions about the process. The more information you gather now, the more prepared you’ll be when it’s time to be evaluated.

Kidney Transplant Evaluations: Your Questions Answered

Below is a list of five important questions and answers you should know as you start the kidney transplant evaluation process.

1. Do I need more tests if my doctor has already cleared me for a transplant?

Yes. Since, each transplant center has its own requirements, you’ll need to be assessed and evaluated by the transplant care team in order to be accepted at a particular center.

2. What should I expect from the transplant evaluation process?

  • A phone call—A coordinator from the center will gather your personal and insurance information. He or she will also schedule your first visit.
  • Your first appointment—You’ll visit the center to discuss transplant details, go over physical or financial needs you may have, and ask questions. Initial appointments can be lengthy, and you may want to consider bringing a family member or friend.
  • A full examination—Your health and wellbeing will be examined in detail.

3. What should I expect during my examination?

  • A review of your medical history—This is to inform your transplant care team of any and all conditions, health problems, prescription’s and therapies, past surgeries, etc.
  • A complete physical exam—This will help identify any health issues that could prevent a successful surgery.
  • A psychosocial exam—This will determine your emotional preparedness for surgery and recovery.
  • A series of medical tests—These will assess compatibility with your living donor or a deceased donor from the transplant list.

4. How can I make sure I’m ready for my evaluation?

  • Arrive prepared—Your center coordinator will tell you what information to bring and provide pre-visit instructions to follow.
  • Rest—Be as well-rested as possible for your evaluation. The process can take time.
  • Come with questions—Bring a list of questions about insurance coverage, costs, the surgical process, or anything else that will make you a more informed candidate.
NOTE: If you’re on dialysis, be sure to talk to your insurance coordinator and social worker before making any changes to your insurance. It’s important to understand your options while you’re waiting on a transplant and still on dialysis treatment.

5. When will I learn the results of my evaluation?

Evaluation procedures and timing vary from center to center. However, because your transplant care team wants your transplant to be a success, the evaluation is thorough and takes time to complete—sometimes up to several months.

A kidney transplant evaluation is one of many steps in your transplant journey. This process helps to determine if you are ready for a transplant, both physically and emotionally. You may have many questions as you enter this stage and knowing the answers can help you be more prepared. Download our free guide to getting a transplant to learn more.

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Learn what to know, what to expect, and how to plan for a kidney transplant. 

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