Kidney Transplant Information


Frequently asked questions

How do I get a referral to the Transplant Institute?

Your primary care physician will contact the Transplant Institute with your referral. You should also call our transplant coordinator at (412) 359-5017 to provide authorization for us to obtain your medical records.

Does the Transplant Institute accept my insurance or Medicare for a transplant?

We are a Medicare-approved hospital and accept many different insurance plans. Our financial coordinators will confirm your insurance coverage before or during your initial evaluation. Contact one of our coordinators at
 (412) 359-5250.

Why do I need a phone interview?

After we receive your referral, we will set up a phone interview to review
your medical and social history, including prior testing or hospitalizations.          We will then schedule an evaluation appointment where you will meet our multidisciplinary team.

What happens at the transplant evaluation visit?

You will meet with our pre-transplant team: a transplant nephrologist, surgeon, social worker, financial coordinator, and a transplant coordinator. You will then be given tests to assess your health, including blood work, an electrocardiogram (EKG), a chest X-ray, a renal ultrasound, and urine studies. You will be given
prescriptions to complete further studies based on your gender and your past medical and surgical history.

What happens following the visit?

After your screening and testing is complete, your case is presented to our transplant team. Your coordinator will notify you of the team’s recommendation for your best course of treatment. If you are a candidate for a transplant, you will be placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list until a donor is found.

What should I do if I know someone interested in being a living donor?

Once you are deemed a candidate for transplant and are placed on the UNOS waiting list, please have anyone interested in kidney donation contact our donor coordinator at (412) 359-4441. During that phone call, we will begin the donor’s testing process and schedule an evaluation appointment with our Living Donor Program team. The donor will complete very similar medical testing as any candidate awaiting transplant. Once donor candidacy is determined, we will schedule a transplant date for you.

What happens while I’m waiting for an organ to become available?

You will remain on the UNOS waiting list until an organ becomes available. Should your demographics or physical health status change, please contact our waiting list coordinator at (412) 359-5074.

How will I know when an organ becomes available?

No matter what time of day or night a donor organ becomes available, our coordinator will notify you immediately. It is imperative that you are available by cell phone during the time you are on the waiting list.

Preparing for transplant

Frequently asked questions

What should I do before I go to the hospital for the transplant?

You should pack necessities for a three- to five-night stay at the hospital. However, keep your suitcase in your car or in a place that is easily accessible so that someone can retrieve it after your surgery when you are settled
into a hospital room.

What should I pack and not pack?

Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, undergarments, change of clothes, socks and slippers. Please leave any valuables at home.

How do I get to the Transplant Institute?

Allegheny General Hospital
320 East North Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Transplant Institute phone:(412) 359-5017
The Institute is located in the Liver Cancer Center, 4th Floor

Where should I park?

If possible, you should have someone drive you to the hospital. That person should park in the hospital parking garage.

Where should I go to be admitted into the hospital?

If you are being admitted for transplant during normal business hours, you should go to the Allegheny General Hospital’s Admissions Office on the first floor, across from the Singer Lab, near the Gift Shop. If you are being called in for transplant after business hours, you should report to the Allegheny General Hospital’s Emergency Department.

What kind of hospital room will I have?

You will have a semi-private room. We provide private rooms to our transplant donors.

Will I have a television and telephone in my room?