A KidneyBuzz.com viewer wrote and asked, "I am looking at transplant centers and would like your input. What should I look for? Is there anything that should stand out?"
The top 5 ranked Kidney Transplant centers are: (1) University of California San Francisco Medical Center, (2) Methodist Specialty & Transplant Hospital, (3) University California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, (4) Jackson Memorial Hospital, (5) University of California Davis Medical Center. While these centers are ranked mainly based upon the number of kidney transplants conducted within a given year, that does not tell the entire story, and patients should look at the following holistic characteristics in order to determine at which center they should list.
Recommended Reading: Support Action To Stop Wasting Kidneys That Can Be Used For Transplants.
Choosing where to have your transplant is an important decision. There are a number of factors which come into play when making this choice. For some, geographical and economic factors are important. Others weigh center success rates and facilities into their decision. As with any procedure of this magnitude, it’s important to get as much information as possible to help make an educated decision. Here are some things you may take into account when making your choice:
- The experience of kidney transplant team and support personnel. The amount of experience a facility has with kidney transplants and the number of procedures they have done is an important consideration.
- The Kidney transplant costs. There are a number of items which factor into this including pre-operative tests, the transplant itself and post-operative recovery. These figures can vary from facility to facility.
- Insurance coverage. Kidney transplantation is covered by the CMS system (Medicare). Many private insurance companies cover kidney transplants, but the benefits can vary greatly. Some insurance companies have agreements with certain transplant hospitals where they will pay more benefits. Additionally, policies vary between transplant centers on the type of insurance accepted. Call your insurance company directly for more detail.
- Location of the center and travel time. How long it will take you to get to the transplant center once an kidney is located is a key consideration in the decision-making process.
- Pre- and post-transplant services. You will have many special needs (both physical and emotional) before and after the transplant. How prepared and capable is the facility in handling these needs? Cultural diversity. Are language translators available or accessible if needed?
- Friends and family support. After the transplant, there are a number of activities where friends and family can/need to provide assistance. Will you have access to these people to help with your postoperative care?
How long have you been listed at your Kidney Transplant Center? How many calls have you had? Weigh-in with your own pros and cons at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page which has over 65,000 friends (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (approximately 200,000 monthly viewers) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, on Dialysis, have Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Tom Johnson who said, "Kidney Buzz is the best source of information for any patient that suffers from kidney disease. I'm happy that I found the advertisement for the Kidney Buzz warning bracelet that put me in touch. Thank you for all that you do."