About the Kidney Transplant Program
Since the first successful kidney transplant at UC Health in 1967, our kidney transplant program has grown significantly and achieved outstanding results. Because of our excellent results, referrals for those in need of a kidney transplant have recently more than doubled.
In 2017, UC Health surgeons performed 111 kidney transplants including 38 living donor transplants. Included in those transplants were multi-visceral transplants such as Simultaneous Heart and Kidney, Simultaneous Liver and Kidney and Simultaneous Kidney and Pancreas. We are the only adult center in Cincinnati that can perform these complex transplants.
Distinctions of the UC Health Liver and Kidney Transplant Program
The experience and expertise of UC Health Physicians enable them to perform successful kidney transplants from live donors to recipient patients with excellent results.
The UC Health Kidney Transplant Program was one of the first centers in the country to perform 100% of our live kidney donor surgeries laparoscopically. This results in faster recovery and reduced pain for individuals giving a kidney to save a life.
UC Health transplant surgeons have led the development of kidney exchange programs since 1997. Today, UC Health is a member of the National Kidney Registry that increases access to living kidney donors throughout the nation. In a kidney exchange, two or more living kidney donor/recipient pairs (both of whom cannot undergo transplantation because of incompatibility) are matched so that they receive a compatible kidney for transplantation.
For a patient who develops kidney failure, the best outcomes and the longest survival is achieved with a living donor kidney transplant. Although most kidney transplant programs in the United States offer living donor kidney transplantation, the chances of obtaining a living donor kidney transplant differ greatly from one transplant center to the next. The UC Health kidney transplant program offers several specialized approaches that allow patients to increase their chances of finding a living donor, and also for finding a way to be transplanted, even when their own potential living donor may not have the right blood type, or may not be compatible.
We offer patients with incompatible living donors a specialized clinic, the Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic Program (SPEEC Program). This is dedicated to patients who have problems finding a compatible living donor. This clinic has quadrupled the chances of our patients being able to undergo living donor transplants and receives patients referred from kidney transplant programs from all over the United States.
The UC Health kidney transplant program has a team of nurse coordinators who are highly specialized, which adds greatly to the care of our transplant patients. Our team includes a dedicated living donor coordinator, a sensitized patient coordinator for our Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic, specialized pre-transplant coordinators, and also nurse coordinators who are specialized in care following the transplant.
UC Health kidney transplant patients benefit from the large system of support, such as Hoxworth Blood Center HLA Laboratory for expert tissue typing and on-site pathology with 24-hour biopsy results.
As part of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, patients benefit from access to the latest clinical trials. UC Health is a recognized leader in research, including studies of: new medications to prevent and treat rejection, new antirejection treatments that reduce the side effects of antirejection medications, and new immune suppressive agents and steroid-free immunosuppression.
UC Health transplant surgeons have unique expertise for patients with these multiple conditions, so they can help develop individual treatment plans. One surgeon and one team can coordinate both a gastric procedure for weight loss and a transplant, increasing the chance for a successful transplant.
UC Health researchers pioneered the reduction of steroid-type drugs in transplant patients, decreasing the many negative side effects associated with prolonged steroid use.
UC Health consults worldwide about transplants and cancer malignancies, and maintains the world’s largest transplant tumor registry.