Transplant Services | Kidney Transplantation

Eligibility  |  Treatment Options  |  Expectations  |  Patient Forms  |  Our Team  |  Patient Forms


The Kidney Transplant Program at Hartford Hospital was established in 1971 and is one of the oldest and most successful in New England.

The Transplant Program team is committed to providing supportive and respectful patient centered care and knows the most important member of the team is the patient. We are committed to keeping patients informed and helping them become active partners in their healthcare. We will do everything we possibly can to make patients comfortable and ensure they understand the transplant process.

Eligibility

Are You a Candidate?
All transplant candidates begin the program by meeting with the transplant coordinator and surgeon. Each candidate will undergo a comprehensive series of tests. Some of these tests are required for any operative procedure (history and physical, chest x-ray, EKG, etc.) while others (such as specific blood tests, echocardiogram) are required for transplantation surgery.

After a candidate is accepted for transplantation, he or she is listed with the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program and the national lists of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). The allocation of organs is based upon a point system which takes into account time on the waiting list, blood type compatibility and other factors. Because of the ongoing shortage of donor organs in this country, candidates may be on waiting lists for 2 years or longer. In the case of kidney patients, the identification of possible living donors is an important part of the pre-transplant screening process.

A Network of Support
During the initial stages of evaluation, the patient undergoes many tests and sees many specialists. This is also the time when the patient is first introduced to the support network. The transplant coordinators, social worker, and Financial Coordinator play an extremely important role in providing this support.

The Transplant Coordinators are involved in the pre-transplant screening and stay involved throughout the years of follow-up care. In this way, patients benefit from having the same people throughout their participation in the program. Our patients tell us that the transplant coordinators, because of the range of their involvement and the depth of their concern, are essential participants in the support network.

Our social workers are a resource, advocate and a link between patients and all the services designed to assist them. The social worker helps patients and their families address the many complex social and personal issues that arise for transplant patients. The services range from helping with personal and psychological issues that result from living with a chronic medical condition, to lodging, joining support groups and receiving vocational rehabilitation.

The Financial Coordinator assists patients with financial and insurance issues related to transplantation. The services include assessing patient insurance for hospital and pharmacy benefits, identifying and attempting to resolve patient financial problems, and helping patients in requesting and applying for assistance from transplant resource programs.

In addition, there are Support Groups available. 

Indications for Kidney Transplantation

  • End stage renal disease

Factors that Can Rule Out Kidney Transplantation

  • Severe and/or uncorrectable coronary artery disease.
  • Severe cardiomyopathy (resulting in a very poor risk for general anesthesia).
  • Serious active infection (for example, pulmonary tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, peritonitis or infected hemodialysis graft).
  • Recent cancer, such as colon, breast or pulmonary. Exceptions are skin cancers with evidence of complete excision. Patients may be considered for a renal transplant after a disease free interval. Additional considerations are the invasiveness of the tumor and the patient’s age.
  • Severe and/or uncorrectable peripheral vascular disease. Patients may be considered candidates after bypass surgery, angioplasty, or other therapy.
  • Severe and/or uncorrectable pulmonary disease, such as advanced emphysema, pulmonary hypertension.
  • Active peptic ulcer disease. A history of peptic ulcer disease is not a contraindication.
  • A history of diverticulitis. These patients should have a prophylactic colon resection prior to a renal transplant.
  • Current drug and/or excessive alcohol abuse. (Patient may be considered after a six month abstinence with psychiatric evaluation and negative drug test).
  • Serious and incapacitating mental illness or mental deficiency such that the person has very limited ability to comply with a complex medical regimen. Exceptions may be considered, after appropriate treatment or health care arrangements.
  • Repeated noncompliance with medical regimen, and/or repeated failure to keep dialysis treatment appointments.
  • Confirmed infection with HIV.
  • Other infectious processes such as active hepatitis, TB, etc.
  • Advanced age is a relative contraindication. Patients in a 65 to 70 year old range may be considered candidates, providing their health is good (other than renal disease). A baseline cardiac evaluation including an echocardiogram is required.

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Treatment Options

The Transplant Procedure
When a compatible organ becomes available, the transplant patient is immediately contacted by a transplant coordinator or transplant surgeon and admitted to the hospital. At this time, a history is taken of any medical events that may have occurred since the initial transplant evaluation. Appropriate testing ensures the patients readiness for surgery. The kidney transplant surgery lasts approximately three to five hours. When the surgery is completed, the patient spends several hours in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and is then taken to the transplant patient care unit on Bliss 5.

The length of stay in the hospital is determined by a number of factors, including overall health of the patient before surgery. Hospital stays are typically 5 days.

Careful, comprehensive post-surgical monitoring constantly evaluates whether the body is accepting the new organ. Patient education is a major focus of the post transplant care. Patients must understand their medical regimen and be responsible for their follow-up care.

Organ Donation Options

There are several options for organ donation available to kidney transplant patients including Good Samaritan Donation, Living Donor Champions and Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Live Kidney Donation.

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Expectations

Outpatient Visit
Follow-up care initially involves returning to the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program office several times per week during the first month after leaving the hospital. A series of blood tests and occasionally biopsies are conducted to closely monitor the patient’s progress. This is a period when medications are precisely adjusted to reach a point of effective stability. As time goes on, blood tests and office visits are extended. Monthly blood tests and three-month office visits are required indefinitely.

The Patient’s Responsibility
While transplantation can greatly improve the recipients’ quality of life, it also demands much of them. Recipients must become active participants in preserving their health. In addition to regular follow-up, patients must call the Hartford Hospital Transplant Program office with any concerns or questions that they have about their health. For the rest of their lives, they must take their medications especially immunosuppression (anti-rejection) medications.

Immunosuppressive Medication
Transplantation has become increasingly successful in recent years in large part through the development of new, more effective drugs that prevent the body from rejecting the donated organs. These drugs inhibit the body’s immune system from identifying the new organ as foreign. It is necessary for all patients to take immunosuppressive medication for the rest of their lives following the transplant. A successful transplant can be undermined very quickly if patients fail to take their medications appropriately and responsibly.

A program that changes lives
Hartford Hospital’s Transplant Program has saved and greatly improved the lives of hundreds of people in recent years. By replacing organs that have ceased to function effectively, the program has given new life, new energy, and new possibilities to people whose lives have been restricted by debilitating conditions.

We have worked to build a team of committed and gifted physicians, nurses, researchers, counselors, and social worker whose special expertise guarantees that our patients receive the best treatment available. We are dedicated to providing the comprehensive care from the time a patient is referred and indefinitely after the transplant.

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Meet our Kidney and Liver Transplantation Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Maneckshana, Bejon T., MD
860.696.2030
  • Transplant Surgery
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
Rochon, Caroline, MD, FACS
860.696.2030
  • Transplant Surgery
  • General Surgery
Show Less
  • Hartford
Serrano, Oscar K., MD
860.696.2030
  • Transplant Surgery
  • General Surgery
Show Less
  • Hartford
Sheiner, Patricia Ann, MD, FACS
860.696.2030
  • Transplant Surgery
  • General Surgery
Show Less
  • Hartford