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How to Choose the Right Transplant Program

Meet Summer Hudish, a liver transplant
survivor who just won the race of her
life. Watch Summer's story.

Leading transplant providers keep a close tab on the most important part of the process: the patient.

The shortage of donated organs is dire nationwide, but a great program helps get patients on to – and then off of – the waiting list as quickly as possible.

How long do I have to spend on a waiting list?

Of the "most urgent" patients on our liver waiting list, 80% had received a transplant by six months after listing, compared with 59% nationally.

Of the patients waiting for a kidney/pancreas transplant, half received a transplant within 9.7 months of being placed on the list. The national average was 13.7 months.

Wait list numbers and survival percentages based on data available as of October 31, 2011, Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

Our emphasis on after-care

And 86% of the patients who received a liver transplant at UCH had survived three years after their procedure, compared to the national rate of 80%.

More questions to ask

Is my surgeon a transplant specialist, or a general surgeon who also does transplants?

All of the surgeons who perform transplants at UCH are dedicated transplant specialists. Since 1988 our transplant specialists have performed over 3,700 transplants.

This means that our surgeons have vast experience and are always apprised of, and often have a hand in creating, the latest medical information and techniques.

Will the surgeon communicate with my regular doctor about my care?

Our transplant team knows that communication with your provider is crucial for your long-term outcome.

In addition to communicating with your primary physician, we provide access to a physician web interface which allows your doctor to check the status of your tests and transplant process.

Will the transplant team follow up with me during the coming years?

Absolutely. The transplant process is one that lasts a lifetime. We will get to know each other very well. You may even start to see us as part of the family! This is why it is important for you to choose a transplant program you feel comfortable with.

During your wait and preparation for a transplant, we will monitor you regularly and help you stay as healthy as possible until an organ becomes available.

After a transplant, we will continue to monitor you to ensure that you and your new organ are getting along well. We even provide our patients with a web interface which allows you to check the status of your tests, the transplant process and other information that is useful to you as a patient.

What does it mean to go to an "academic medical center"?

It means that our doctors and nurses are so good at what they do, they teach future generations of medical caregivers. They are bringing research to life in providing patients new treatments they can't get anywhere else.

Far from being "just a number," patients at UCH receive attention not only from their certified medical team but also from those in training, many of whom are already accomplished clinicians and researchers. Caregivers can't get stale and complacent when they are constantly being challenged in an environment of dynamic learning.

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