Kidney Transplant Program

Becoming a Patient

Kidney Transplant Evaluation

Your transplant evaluation provides a chance for you and your family to learn as much as possible about transplantation in order to decide if you can benefit from a kidney transplant. The pre-transplant evaluation also offers an opportunity for the Emory transplant team to learn about your medical history and determine your suitability for a transplant. Your transplant evaluation serves the important function of helping both you and the team decide if transplantation is your best treatment option.

During your first visit you will have the opportunity to meet several different members of the team and learn about the medical, surgical, and financial aspects of kidney transplantation. You will also meet with a renal dietician. You may bring along family members, and we will provide you with ample opportunities to ask questions.

Pre-Kidney Transplant Testing

Testing will begin during your first visit with a complete medical history and a physical exam. Blood tests, an ECG, and a chest X-ray will be performed. You will be given a schedule for further testing that will need to be completed as an outpatient. If you are over 45 years old, have diabetes, or have other risk factors for heart disease, a cardiologist (heart specialist) will perform a stress test on your heart. Imaging of your abdomen and pelvis will be ordered, which may include an MRI scan, a CT scan or an ultrasound. Other tests that may be ordered include an ultrasound of the arteries in your neck, or studies of your bladder and lower urinary tract. Women over 35 years of age should provide records that they have had a mammogram, and a gynecologic exam with a Pap smear. If you have never had these done, we can order them for you. A colonoscopy is required for all patients over 50 years of age. A current dental examination is also recommended for all patients.

You will be asked to make a second visit to the clinic to meet with the kidney transplant surgeon, and the transplant nephrologist (medical kidney transplant specialist). These physicians will examine you and speak to you about the benefits and risks of kidney transplant.

After the transplant evaluation, the results of your history and physical exam, your radiology tests, and your blood work will be reviewed by the multidisciplinary transplant team. You and your primary nephrologist will be notified in writing of our recommendation on whether you are a candidate for transplant. If the team determines that you could benefit from a kidney transplant, we will give you written instructions on what is needed for you to be placed on the kidney transplant waiting list.