Your Kidney Transplant Team
Your doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals at BIDMC will help you learn about your disease, the tests you will have, the preparations you need to make before surgery, the transplant operation, the recovery period, your medications, returning home, and much more. Your transplant team is your primary source of information and is always available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
A Trusted Partnership
Your primary team includes a nephrologist (a physician who specializes in kidney function and disease), a transplant surgeon, a nurse coordinator, a practice assistant, a social worker and a psychologist. Other team members include a nutritionist, pharmacist, financial coordinator and infectious disease specialist.
Your transplant nephrologist has special training in caring for patients with end-stage renal disease. Together your nephrologist and transplant surgeon, along with the rest of the transplant team, help:
- Select kidney transplant recipients and donors
- Provide important pre- and postoperative care for recipients and living donors
- Manage anti-rejection drugs and their complications and side effects
Your nephrologist and surgeon will want to see you more regularly to carefully monitor your transplant care. They will also work closely with your other medical providers in the community.
In addition to performing the kidney transplant operation, transplant surgeons also do:
- Living donor nephrectomy
- Dialysis access surgery for patients undergoing hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis
- General surgery in transplant patients
- Liver and pancreas transplants
- Non-transplant hepatobiliary surgery (related to the liver and biliary tract)
Your nurse coordinator and practice assistant have special expertise in transplantation. You will see them regularly during your clinic visits. They coordinate and manage all aspects of your care along with your physician and surgeon:
- Arrange and organize the pre-transplant evaluation process, with all necessary testing and follow-up referrals
- Monitor the status of patients on the organ transplant waiting list
- Provide patient and family education
Nurse coordinators, in partnership with the inpatient nurses on Farr 10, help with discharge planning and offer close personal support for you and your family.
Your social worker and psychologist - behavioral health professionals who specialize in transplantation - are also very important members of your team. They help you:
- Understand the physical, emotional and financial impact of your disease, and the impact on your family, including children, and friends
- Develop strategies to handle any special challenges associated with your transplant surgery and care
- Plan for your financial needs
- Connect with organizations, support groups and other community resources for more information about your condition and care
Together with nurse coordinators, your behavioral health team will help you meet other patients and families at BIDMC who have received or donated a kidney, and who are eager to share their experience and support.