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Kidney Transplantation

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report magazine as a top hospital caring for patients with kidney disease, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center's Comprehensive Transplant Center is home to one of the largest kidney transplant programs in the country. We performed our first kidney transplant in 1967 and have long been a nationally-recognized leader in kidney transplantation. Ohio State’s transplant surgeons perform more than 200 kidney transplants per year.

Kidney Transplant Program Referral
You may be referred to our program by your doctor who specializes in kidneys (known as a nephrologist), your dialysis nurse or your family physician. Ask them to contact the Kidney Transplant Program at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center 614-293-6724 to arrange for you and your family to attend an introductory information session in our outpatient clinic and meet with one of members of our transplant team. You may also refer yourself if you would like to be evaluated at Ohio State. Learn more about the referral process

Who Can Be a Candidate for a Kidney Transplant
For most patients who are suffering end-stage kidney failure, kidney transplantation is the best treatment. Solid organ kidney transplant involves surgically replacing your damaged kidney with a kidney that has been donated by a deceased or a living donor. People whose kidneys have permanently failed due to chronic end-stage renal disease caused by diabetes mellitus, hypertension, autoimmune disease, congenital abnormalities or because of infection or trauma (injury) may be a candidates for a kidney transplant.

In the past, age was a major factor. Today, however, patients range from six-month-old infants to 70-year-old adults. Your overall health status is what is most considered. Most patients who have been on dialysis prior to their transplant say they enjoy a marked improvement in the quality of their lives.

Why Candidates Can Be Ruled Out
Screenings before transplant ensure that you are in good medical and psychological health and that you have the motivation and support to comply with treatment plans. People who generally are not candidates include those with metastatic cancer, active drug or alcohol abuse, active infection or severe medical problems.

Two Sources of Life
Approximately 2,200 people in Ohio are waiting for a kidney transplant and the wait time averages three to five years for a kidney from a deceased donor.

There are two ways a kidney can be donated:

  • Living donor: A donated kidney from a living person who has agreed to donate one of his or her healthy kidneys while alive. Living donors do not have to be blood relatives of yours and can be spouses or friends. Learn more about our Living Donor Program​
  • Deceased donor: A donated kidney from a person who has irreversible brain injury and has previously registered to become an organ donor or the family wishes to donate.

Wait times for patients who have living donors are greatly reduced from years to months. Anyone interested in being a donor for you can be scheduled to be evaluated for a transplant. All costs for the living donor evaluation and surgery are covered by your insurance. Your transplant coordinator can help answer other questions you may have about living donation.

Making it Possible
Private medical insurance and Medicare’s End-Stage Renal Disease Program share in covering the cost of kidney transplantation. The Veteran’s Administration or Medicaid may also be a source of financial aid for those patients who are eligible.

Please use the following links to learn more about kidney transplantation and the patient experience at The Ohio State University Wexner  Medical Center:

Current Patients (Abdominal Transplants)
TransChart Patient Management System  

For more information about kidney transplantation, please call or write:

Abdominal Transplant Office
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
770 Kinnear Rd., Suite 100
Columbus, OH 43212
614-293-6724 or 800-293-8965​