The Transplant Process
The transplant process can be broken into four major phases: evaluation, waiting period, surgery,
Evaluation is the time when we are making sure the patient is a fitting candidate for a transplant.
The first visit is at the UW Hospital and Clinics. Patients meet with a transplant surgeon who
will ask questions about their medical history. Tests and labs will be ordered to help decide if
the patient can receive a transplant. Patients also meet with a financial consultant, a transplant
coordinator, a social worker, and a dietitian who will answer questions and provide information.
Potential living donors may be identified during this phase. They go through a separate
evaluation to find out if they can donate an organ.
If a patient is deemed to be a transplant candidate and wishes to proceed, he or she will be placed
on the transplant waiting list of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a federal
organization that is in charge of organ allocation. This waiting period can last for days or years,
based upon each patient’s own circumstance. If a living donor has been identified, the patient
will be scheduled for surgery when the donor’s work-up is complete.
This is the time when the patient receives the organ and recovers in the hospital. While
recovering from the transplant, patients receive education about new medicines, self-care, and
follow-up tests and clinic visits.
The follow-up care starts when the patient goes home from the hospital and goes on for the rest
of the patient’s life. A transplant is a lifelong commitment. Lab testing, clinic visits, and more
follow-up cares are required to ensure the transplant is working. The transplant team provides
lifelong support with the hope that, after transplant, patients can return to a normal, active, and
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospital
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6775.