All kidney-pancreas transplants at Emory are performed using organs from deceased donors.
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.
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) provides a toll-free patient services line to help transplant candidates, recipients, and family members understand organ allocation practices and transplantation data. You may also call this number to discuss problems with your transplant center or the transplantation system in general. The toll-free patient services number is 1-888-894-6361.