Kidney-Pancreas Transplant Waiting List

If following the kidney-pancreas transplant evaluation process it is determined that kidney-pancreas transplantation is the best treatment option for you, your name will be placed on a waiting list. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the national agency that regulates organ transplantation. LifeLink of Georgia facilitates organ donation for the state of Georgia. UNOS, along with LifeLink of Georgia, puts your name on a national computerized transplant waiting list and helps locate donor organs.

Once you have been listed, your dialysis unit or doctor's office will send a monthly blood sample to Emory. This sample is used to check your compatibility with any potential donor organs that become available. To remain eligible for a transplant, it is necessary to send in this blood sample every month.

Due to a critical shortage of donor organs, adults can wait for several years before a suitable kidney and pancreas become available. Often patients can wait at home during this time.

When a compatible kidney and pancreas have been found, you will be notified by a member of the transplant team. At that time, you will be given instructions about coming to the hospital for your transplant. The first call you get does not always mean the transplant will occur. The surgeon must examine the organs before giving final approval for your transplant. You will also have your blood tested against the donor to make sure you are not sensitized against this donor, a situation which would result in rejection of the kidney and pancreas.

Living Donation

The Emory Transplant Center offers a living donor program for kidney-pancreas transplantation. In living donation, the recipient receives a kidney and a portion of a healthy pancreas from a family member or friend.

The Emory transplant team encourages living donor transplants for the following reasons:

• One of your blood relatives may provide a closer genetic match. The long-term success rate of living donor transplants is excellent.

• Receiving a kidney and partial pancreas from a living donor eliminates the wait for a deceased donor.

• The likelihood of immediate functioning of your new organs after a living donor transplant is greater because of the short length of time the organs are without blood supply.

You may feel uncomfortable asking family members or friends to become living donors. But while the subject may be difficult to talk about, you may find that family and friends are indeed interested in being evaluated as donors. The Emory transplant team evaluates potential donors very carefully and will only accept individuals who are healthy and able to donate. You will receive more detailed information about living donation during your evaluation.