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Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Process

Referral

Your nephrologist or dialysis unit can refer you to our program. You also have the option of referring yourself. After we receive your referral, one of our team members will contact you to start the transplant process.

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Evaluation

During a transplant evaluation, required lab tests, radiology tests and cardiac tests are paid for by the transplant program. You are also required to have a dental evaluation as well as a cancer screening depending on your age and risk. You are responsible for paying for these tests.

You will be scheduled for an education session and evaluation with all members of our team. Please bring a support person with you, as he or she will play an important role in your recovery and success.

Spokane Kidney and Pancreas Program Selection Criteria

Kidney, Kidney/Pancreas Transplantation

A Candidate for a transplant must continuously meet the following criteria:

  • Have irreversible kidney failure with 20% or less of normal kidney function, requiring dialysis or approaching the need for dialysis at the time of transplant. Certain types of kidney disease must be at a stage where they are inactive.
  • Have adequate insurance to cover the transplant, medications, office visits, and lab testing needs after transplant.
  • Have a plan for who can be immediately available to support you following transplant. This means having friends or family who can help drive you to and from office visits, lab testing and provide home care needs. You must have a way to personally understand and manage (or have someone help you manage) the medical treatments that are needed to be a successful transplant patient. Kidney transplant is not a cure and requires taking medications for life, regular lab testing and doctor visits.
  • No active chronic or untreatable infection, for example a chronic bone infection or large wounds.
  • No severe heart disease or other severe blood vessel disease. This means not having blockages in your blood vessels that limits your physical activity or puts you at high risk for a heart attack or losing a limb. You cannot have blockages that make it difficult for the surgeon to safely perform the transplant such as seen with very hard and narrowed blood vessels.
  • No severe liver or lung disease or other uncontrolled medical problems, which makes risk for surgery or complications from transplant medications too great.
  • No current cancer or a cancer with high risk to reoccur. If you have had cancer, you must have an adequate period of observation after treatment to assure there is no recurrent before you may qualify for transplantation.
  • No use of nicotine products and no active use of recreational or illicit drugs, (including marijuana).
  • No untreatable mental illness. If you have a mental illness, it must be well treated and you must have a treatment plan that includes routine psychology or psychiatry follow up. You must also have a good social support system. This may include a group of friends, family, co-workers or church members.
  • Demonstrate medical compliance by completing and attending all dialysis sessions as prescribed, attending doctor’s visits, taking medications as prescribed and completing the transplant evaluation as scheduled.
  • Must have a Primary Care physician or a diabetic physician to provide care after transplant.
  • Have a weight with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 39. Obesity increases the risk of complications after transplant. If your waistline is large and the layers of your abdomen are deep, the surgery becomes technically more difficult and too high of a risk.

Pancreas specific:

  • Have Diabetes requiring Insulin. Requiring less than or equal to 1U/kg/day of insulin.
  • Body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 30 with C-peptide less than or equal to 2 ng/mL
  • Body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 28 with C-peptide greater than 2 ng/mL.

Pancreas Transplantation

A Candidate for a Pancreas transplant must continuously meet the following criteria:

  • Have Diabetes requiring Insulin. Requiring less than or equal to 1U/Kg/day of insulin.
  • Body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 30 with C-peptide less than or equal to 2 ng/mL.
  • Body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 28 with C-peptide greater than 2 ng/mL.
  • Have adequate insurance to cover the transplant, medications, office visits and lab testing needs after transplant.
  • Have a plan for who can be immediately available to support you following transplant. This means having friends or family who can help drive you to and from office visits, lab testing and provide home care needs. You must have a way to personally understand and manage (or have someone help you manage) the medical treatments that are needed to be a successful transplant patient. Kidney transplant is not a cure and requires taking medications for life, regular lab testing and doctor visits.
  • No active chronic or untreatable infection, for example a chronic bone infection or large wounds.
  • No severe heart disease or other severe blood vessel disease. This means not having blockages in your blood vessels that limits your physical activity or puts you at high risk for a heart attack or losing a limb. You cannot have blockages that make it difficult for the surgeon to safely perform the transplant such as seen with very hard and narrowed blood vessels. Must meet specific criteria for cardiac function.
  • No severe liver or lung disease or other uncontrolled medical problems, which makes risk for surgery or complications from transplant medications too great.
  • No current cancer or a cancer with high risk to reoccur. If you have had cancer, you must have an adequate period of observation after treatment to assure there is no recurrent before you may qualify for transplantation.
  • No use of nicotine products.
  • No active use of recreational or illicit drugs, (including marijuana).
  • No untreatable mental illness. If you have a mental illness, it must be well treated and you must have a treatment plan that includes routine psychology or psychiatry follow up. You must also have a good social support system. This may include a group of friends, family, co-workers or church members.
  • Demonstrate medical compliance by completing and attending all dialysis sessions as prescribed, attending doctor’s visits, taking medications as prescribed, and completing the transplant evaluation as scheduled.
  • Must have a Primary Care physician or a diabetic physician to provide care after transplant.