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Your Role in a Successful Transplant

Waiting for a kidney to become available can take on average four to six years, while a combined kidney-and-pancreas, pancreas or islet cell transplant can take less than two years. A liver transplant takes, on average, one to three years.

During this time, it is very important for you to maintain your health. We strongly encourage you to do the following:

  • Change any harmful habits that may damage your new organ. We expect that you will avoid drugs and alcohol while you are on the list and after your transplant. We strongly encourage tobacco smokers to quit before their transplant.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Refer to the diet manual for tips to maintain healthy nutrition.
  • Exercise. If possible, stay active. You don’t have to refrain from activities you enjoy. If you have questions about whether a particular activity is right for you, talk with your physician.
  • Manage pre-transplant stress. Share your feelings if you feel depressed or uneasy. The transplant team can answer questions and help alleviate fears. Stay active and spend time with family and friends.

Prepare for the Call

Be aware the call for transplant may come at any time. Make sure that you have a plan for items to take with you, and make arrangements for children or pets so you can leave with a moment’s notice.

Please bring the following things with you when you come to the hospital for your transplant:

  • List of all the medications you are taking
  • A copy of your insurance cards
  • Loose comfortable clothes and comfortable shoes to wear after your surgery
  • All of your diabetic medications and supplies, including glucometer (glucose machine)
  • Your pump and supplies if you are on an insulin pump
  • Enough peritoneal dialysis supplies for three or four days if you are on peritoneal dialysis
  • Blood pressure cuff if you have one

You must have a working telephone. Team members also need the telephone numbers of friends, relatives and neighbors who can locate you when needed. Please notify us immediately if your telephone number, insurance or address changes.

Please notify your transplant team of any health changes while you are waiting. Notify us of any recent illness, pregnancy, blood transfusions or infection.

Please note that while you are on the transplant list, we will see you frequently for a physical, laboratory testing and additional tests as needed to ensure you remain healthy for the transplant. Visit our Locations and Contact Information page for more information.


Please inform your transplant team of any insurance or phone number changes to ensure that your team can proceed with the transplant when the time arrives.