Of the more than 113,000 people in the US waiting for an organ transplant, more than 95,000 are awaiting a kidney. These numbers are high. That’s why we are so passionate about working to reduce the number of people on the waiting list.
If you or a loved one needs a kidney transplant, you can count on the experienced team at WVU Medicine. Our board-certified nephrologists and surgeons are trained to care for patients with the most complex kidney conditions using the latest treatments and advances in organ transplantation. At WVU Medicine, you are not a number. Our expert team makes it our priority to get to know you, giving you a more personalized experience.
Care Designed for You
Kidney transplant can extend life, improve quality of life, and get you back to your loved ones.
For patients with kidney failure, transplant eliminates the need for dialysis – a type of therapy that uses a machine to filter waste out of the body. While dialysis can serve as a bridge to transplant or a stand-alone treatment for those who cannot have or do not want a transplant, it is known to shorten life expectancy. Dialysis is also time-intensive, taking you away from your family for long periods.
There are two kinds of kidney transplant – deceased donor transplant and living donor transplant. The WVU Medicine Transplant Alliance performs deceased donor transplantation and is working toward building a living donor program to serve our patients.
Becoming a Patient
The transplant process can be long and overwhelming. In fact, those approved for kidney transplant can expect to wait 3-5 years before transplantation. Once a transplant is received, recipients can expect to be on anti-rejection medications for the rest of their lives.
We want to make the experience easy for you. That’s why you’ll be paired with one of our transplant coordinators, who will be your partner throughout and beyond the transplant process.
Our team will first confirm your eligibility for transplant. To be considered for kidney transplant, you must have been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease and be on dialysis, or have a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of less than 20. GFR is a test of how well the kidneys are working. These are basic criteria. A full transplant evaluation is required to determine if transplant is right for you.
We’ve developed a two-step education and evaluation program for those referred to the WVU Medicine Transplant Alliance kidney transplant program.
By separating pre-transplant education from the pre-transplant clinical evaluation, those considering kidney transplant can develop a strong understanding of the transplant process before deciding if transplantation is the right option.
- Step 1: Pre-evaluation Education – During this one-hour program, you will learn about the benefits of transplant, different types of kidney donation, how the transplant process works, and risks associated with transplant surgery. This unique pre-transplant education program helps you to decide if transplant is the right option for you. Our team offers the information you need to make decisions about your care before your clinical evaluation.
- Step 2: Transplant Evaluation – During your half-day evaluation appointment, you and your loved ones will meet our transplant team, including a transplant nephrologist, transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, dietitian, social worker, and financial coordinator. Together, we’ll evaluate your health and discuss other factors that can impact transplant surgery success. Your evaluation appointment will end with blood work and a list of testing that is necessary for the evaluation process. Our team is available to assist in coordinating the recommended tests.
Patients traveling to Morgantown for their pre-transplant evaluation or those requiring longer stays pre- or post-transplant may benefit from the Rosenbaum Family House. The Family House provides a place for adult patients and their families to stay while receiving medical care at WVU Medicine. Our transplant social worker will work with you to make necessary referrals for stays in the Family House.
Living Kidney Donor Messages
At WVU Medicine, you are part of our team. And you can count on the passionate experts who have committed their careers to help people like you get back to good health. Your multidisciplinary kidney transplant team brings together transplant surgeons, transplant nephrologists, dietitians, financial coordinators, social workers, pharmacists, transplant nurse coordinators, and many others. You’ll never feel like you’re embarking on this journey alone.
Meet Your Team.
We value the collaboration of physicians across the state and throughout the region. Our team is committed to providing the highest level of cooperative care with referring nephrologists. It’s what helps us bring the best kidney care to West Virginians and others in need of life-changing and life-saving care.
Finding a Living Donor (webinar)
The program begins at the 7:35-minute mark.
The program begins at the 3:23-minute mark.
To learn more, visit the National Kidney Foundation website.
Our kidney transplant program is led by surgical director Rajeev Sharma, MD.
Our team guides patients through every step of the transplant process:
Rajeev Sharma, MD
Vishy Chaudhary, MD
Md. Shahrier Amin, MD, PhD
Daphne-Dominique Villanueva, MD
Transplant Infectious Disease