With the average waiting period for a kidney transplant being three to five years, for those approaching stage three or four chronic kidney disease, it’s more important than ever to learn about treatment options and the possibility of kidney transplantation.
When considering kidney transplantation, patients should ask their care team for more information and request to be sent to a transplant center.
Before selecting a transplant center, patients should check with their insurance companies to see which centers are on their approved list. The location of the transplant center is also important to consider, as patients will need to attend all appointments and be able to easily travel if a kidney becomes available. Patients can visit helpful websites like www.optn.transplant.hrsa.gov and www.srtr.org to find approved center locations.
Knowledge is power
Kidney patients must remember that they are not alone through this process. A patient’s transplant team can answer key questions about transplant evaluations, getting onto the transplant list, what finding a “good match” means for the patient, and what to expect in recovery after transplantation.
When it comes to kidney transplantation, and every aspect of kidney disease, patients need to advocate for themselves. That begins by asking the right questions and utilizing patient-designed tools to navigate the process. For more information about what to ask your transplant team, types of transplants, next steps at a transplant center, the transplant experience, and more, visit the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)’s downloadable brochure, “Understanding Kidney Transplantation,” and visit their kidney transplant webpage for more resources.
What is AAKP?
Founded in 1969, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) is the nation’s largest independent kidney patient organization with the largest membership of kidney transplant patients and donor families. AAKP advocates for patient care choice, equitable access to transplants, and defines high-quality disease treatment as the availability of medical options that fully align with patient aspirations. AAKP is led by patients, many of whom are transplant patients. The organization is very involved in federal and private sector research and innovation designed to move America beyond outdated, high mortality dialysis. These efforts that will lead to more life-saving care options including artificial wearable and implantable organs, xenotransplants, and regenerative medicine. Visit aakp.org, facebook.com/kidneypatient, and twitter.com/KidneyPatients for more information.