Choosing a Center

Choosing where to have your transplant is an important decision. There are a number of factors which come into play when making this choice. For some, geographical and economical factors are important. Others weigh center success rates and facilities into their decision. As with any procedure of this magnitude, it’s important to get as much information as possible to help make an educated decision. Here are some things you take into account when making your choice:

  • Experience of kidney transplant team and support personnel.  The amount of experience a facility has with kidney transplants and the number of procedures they have done is an important consideration.
  • Kidney transplant costs.  There are a number of items which factor into this, including pre-operative tests, the transplant itself and post-operative recovery. These figures can vary from facility to facility.
  • Insurance coverage. Kidney transplantation is covered by the CMS system (Medicare). Many private insurance companies cover kidney transplants, but the benefits can vary greatly. Some insurance companies have agreements with certain transplant hospitals where they will pay more benefits. Additionally, policies vary between transplant centers on the type of insurance accepted.
  • Location of the center and travel time.  How long it will take you to get to the transplant center once an organ is located is a key consideration in the organ distribution process.
  • Pre- and post-transplant services.  You will have many special needs (both physical and emotional) before and after the transplant. How prepared and capable is the facility in handling these needs?
  • Cultural diversity.  Are language translators available or accessible if needed?

Friends and family support.   After the transplant there are a number of activities where friends and family can/need to provide assistance. Reach out to your support network to see who will be available to help with your post-operative care.Will you have access to these people to help with your post-operative care?