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Kidney Recipient and Transplant

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center Kidney Transplant Program offers the latest treatments for adults suffering from chronic or end stage renal disease. Our expert transplant care offers a team approach, working closely with surgeons, nephrologists, nurse coordinators, pharmacists, and social workers, all with specialty training in the field of transplantation. Whether you are currently on hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or have not yet started dialysis, we offer expert care in preparation for transplantation. 

Kidney transplantation is a viable option for many patients with kidney diseases. Our personalized approach works with your insurance provider with the goal to quickly returning you to your own nephrologist. We have a dedicated team in order to respond to referrals quickly with and average turnaround time in 2.5 days.

For more information or to place a referral please call (602) 406-8000.

Why Choose Dignity Health 

  • Personalized concierge level service
  • Streamlined referral intake and evaluation process 
  • Living donation fast track – evaluations in as little as 1 day!
  • Pre-Transplant Weight Loss Program
  • Diabetic Management Program
  • Antibody Lowering Program
  • Kidney Paired Donation

When a patient living with kidney failure receives a kidney transplant, especially from a living donor, there are immediate results. The new kidney begins to remove toxins from the recipient’s body within hours. The recipient’s recovery time is shortened, and many other health complications that came from the kidney failure reverse or slow. The recipient’s energy returns, and he or she no longer needs to schedule life around a dialysis machine.

What is a Kidney Transplant?

When you get a kidney transplant, a healthy kidney is placed inside your body to do the work your own kidneys can no longer do.  

On the plus side, there are fewer limits on what you can eat and drink, but you should follow a heart-healthy diet. Your health and energy should improve.  In fact, a successful kidney transplant may allow you to live the kind of life you were living before you got kidney disease. Studies show that people with kidney transplants live longer than those who remain on dialysis. 

On the minus side, there are the risks of surgery. You will also need to take anti-rejection medicines for as long as your new kidney is working, which can have side effects.  You will have a higher risk for infections and certain types of cancer.

Although most transplants are successful and last for many years, how long they last can vary from one person to the next. Many people will need more than one kidney transplant during a lifetime.

What Does the Operation Involve?

You may be surprised to learn that your own kidneys generally aren’t taken out when you get a transplant. The surgeon leaves them where they are unless there is a medical reason to remove them. The donated kidney is placed into your lower abdomen (b)elly, where it’s easiest to connect it to your important blood vessels and bladder. Putting the new kidney in your abdomen also makes it easier to take care of any problems that might come up.

The operation takes about four hours. You’ll be sore at first, but you should be out of bed in a day or so, and home within a week. If the kidney came from a living donor, it should start to work very quickly. A kidney from a deceased donor can take longer to start working—two to four weeks or more. If that happens, you may need dialysis until the kidney begins to work.

After surgery, you’ll be taught about the medicines you’ll have to take and their side effects. You’ll also learn about diet. If you’ve been on dialysis, you’ll find that there are fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink, which is one of the benefits of a transplant. 


What is Emmi?

Emmi is a company that specializes in patient engagement and education by providing tools patients and caregivers can use to become active participants in their care. Emmi provides interactive, web-based presentations that guide patients through an animated overview of appropriate medical information to help them prepare for a procedure or manage a chronic condition.

What are Emmi Programs?
Emmi programs are online tools that take complex medical information and make it simple and easy to understand. Emmi programs are for both adults and children. The programs can help you prepare for an upcoming procedure or manage your chronic condition.

You may have questions that you think are not relevant. You may have forgotten your questions at your last appointment. Emmi programs are designed to answer important but often unasked questions.

How Does it Work?
You can view your Emmi program in the comfort of your own home or anywhere that has Internet access. You can share Emmi with friends or family members.

Each Emmi program takes about 20 minutes to watch. You can view them as many times as you like. As you watch the program, you can also write notes and questions that you can print and bring with you to your next doctor appointment.

Get Started

Your doctor may have given you an 11-digit access code to view an Emmi program. Enter the access code to activate the program online at Emmi online.

Don't Have an Access Code?
Not all programs require a referral and access code from your health care provider. If you are interested in viewing a program on patient safety, how to provide a good medication history, or a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, or hypertension, you can self-register and get started right away.

Links to Other Educational Resources


For more information or to place a referral please call (602) 406-8000.