Specialists in kidney transplant
Ascension Saint Thomas has a collaborative team of nephrologists and kidney transplant surgeons specializing in both living and deceased donor care.
Kidney Health and Surgery
The Kidney Transplant Program at Ascension Saint Thomas holds a reputation for excellence in kidney transplantation as our care team consistently meets national outcomes as well as providing outstanding care to a growing number of patients seeking kidney transplantation. Our program is the fastest-growing in the state of Tennessee and in the Southeast Region, according to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. We perform kidney transplants for patients with serious kidney dysfunction, who would not be able to live without dialysis or a transplant. Though it is not a cure, kidney transplant is also a treatment option for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
Living Donor Transplants
Our living donor kidney program enables us to match more patients and provide better outcomes so that they can live a longer, healthier life. Beginning with an individualized evaluation and continuing throughout the transplant process, each recipient and living donor receives a specialized plan of care designed to best meet their needs. Family members or unrelated individuals who make a good match may donate one of their kidneys and can live a healthy life with just one kidney.
Unique benefits of our living donor program include:
- Good outcomes for high-risk patients: our providers work to get a transplant for every patient who qualifies.
- A thorough evaluation of living donors to determine their candidacy, with a priority of scheduling our living donor pairs for surgery in the shortest amount of time possible.
- Desensitization protocol for living donors: Allows donors whose organs are incompatible with their recipients because of the presence of unacceptable antibodies in the recipient to receive such an organ. Desensitization is a process that removes harmful antibodies from the blood stream. These antibodies, which fight foreign tissues like those found on a donated organ, can cause organ rejection. Desensitization is achieved by using a combination of immunoglobulin therapy along with a monoclonal antibody to prevent the harmful antibodies from coming back. Desensitization of a patient lasts for only a limited amount of time, so the time to transplant must be controlled very closely. This can be done only with a live donor.
Are you interested in becoming a living donor?
Complete the online form to begin the evaluation process for a living donor transplant.
All Kidney Transplants
Ascension Saint Thomas offers trusted techniques and innovations in both living donor and deceased donor kidney transplant with benefits that include:
- Organ offer acceptance: The program has one of the highest organ offer acceptance rates in the state of Tennessee for donor organs. We stand by the position of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) that increasing donation from expanded criteria donors and donation after cardiac death donors increases the availability of organs for transplant. This in turn allows more recipients to receive life-saving transplants.
- Incompatible blood type transplants: The program lists eligible candidates with blood type B to receive deceased donor kidneys with compatible subtypes of either A or AB blood types (known either as non-A1/non-A1B or A2/A2B). Candidates listed as eligible for non-A1/non-A1B to B transplantation have been transplanted at a rate three times that of type B candidates not listed as eligible for such offers, according to OPTN as of February 2018.
- Specialized kidney care: Our team is dedicated to personalized care during a patient’s evaluation; while the patient is on the waiting list; at the time of transplant; and after a patient goes home from transplant. We work closely with nephrologists and other multidisciplinary team members who are dedicated to the nuances and care of transplant recipients.
- Combined transplants: We offer transplants of multiple organs, including combination heart/kidney transplant.
- Dialysis access: For patients who require dialysis before transplant, the same Saint Thomas West surgeons who perform transplants also perform the surgery to create access for dialysis treatment.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Kidney Transplant Program or to make a referral, call 615-284-6618. You may also complete the Kidney Patient Referral Form and fax to 615-222-6074.
Working with UNOS
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is responsible for transplant organ distribution in the United States and oversees the allocation of many different types of transplants, including liver, kidney, pancreas, heart, lung, and cornea. At Ascension Saint Thomas, our organ transplant team handles all coordination with UNOS regarding your health history and updating them as your condition changes.