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About Organ Transplantation

Chronic kidney disease

When a person's kidney function begins to fail, they have a condition called chronic kidney disease (CKD). When someone develops CKD, waste products and extra fluid can build up in the body. People usually feel fatigued, tired and may get puffy feet, ankles and face (edema). Food does not taste the same and the appetite is sometimes poor. Although everyone is different, the buildup of waste products creatinine and a form of nitrogen (BUN) measured in the blood tests often tell your doctor the degree of CKD. Your doctor may decide to start medicines to combat the effects of CKD depending on the test results. Learn more.

Paths to transplantation

There are important advantages of kidney transplantation over dialysis. Transplantation will not cure all the medical problems you have, but it can significantly benefit lifestyle. Learn more about the benefits and options for transplantation.

How are organs made available?

Organs are made available to patients at the Transplant Center at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and LifeCenter Northwest (LCNW). Learn more.

Starting the transplant process

The transplant process starts by talking to your nephrologist for a consultation about having a kidney transplant. Your doctor will refer you directly to the Transplant Center at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in Seattle for further evaluation and to start the transplant process. Learn more.

Waiting for your transplant

The length of time a person waits for a transplant is influenced by many factors. While waiting on the "active list," you are required to send in a blood sample every month. The transplant coordinator will contact you immediately when an organ is available for transplantation.  Learn more.

The hospital stay

Time in the hospital is usually shorter for recipients of living donor kidneys than for recipients of deceased donor kidneys. Most recipients stay in the hospital for three to five days. Living kidney donors usually have a shorter hospital stay of two to three days. Learn more. 

Long term health: Guidelines following transplantation

Our goal at the Transplant Center at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is to get people over the bridge to better health and a new life as safely and easily as possible. After the surgery and the hospital stay are over, what is next? Here are some common questions we encounter when people start down this new road. Read more.