The GW Transplant Institute
The GW Transplant Institute
2131 K Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20037
Map and directions
About 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). For many, a kidney transplant can be the most effective treatment option. The GW Transplant Institute has a comprehensive kidney transplant program along with the specialty services required to care for transplant surgery patients in the District of Columbia and the surrounding areas.
The GW Transplant Institute performs kidney transplants using kidneys from both living and deceased donors. This process may include:
- Pre-transplant care and listing for transplants
- Live-donor transplantation with laparoscopic nephrectomy
- Transplant surgery utilizing advanced techniques and equipment
- Post-transplant care
- Advanced transplant protocols
- Transplant biopsies
- Transplant related laboratory tests
Because the waiting time for organs has increased dramatically, the staff at The GW Transplant Institute will provide you with information about living donors during the evaluation process. All steps in the kidney and pancreas donation and transplant process are performed at both The George Washington University Hospital and GWU Medical Faculty Associates, from initial evaluations to surgical procedures and the necessary after-care.
Evaluation for Transplantation
The transplant process begins when your physician refers you for a kidney transplant. You will first attend a class taught by a transplant nurse coordinator. Here, you’ll learn about the process, from pre- through post-transplant, and the transplant surgery itself.
The transplant nephrologist will perform a medical examination and conduct tests. Consultations will be scheduled with a social worker, dietitian, a financial coordinator and the transplant surgeon. This team meets to review the results of your tests to determine if a transplant is the best option for you. After you’ve been identified as a candidate, you’ll undergo blood tests to discover how sensitive your body might be to a donor kidney. These tests are key in finding the correct donated kidney for you. Your donor, if living, will undergo blood tests to help complete the match.
After you have the initial evaluation appointment, you and your physician will receive a letter from our physicians summarizing the evaluation visit. The letter will discuss your suitability for transplantation and request further testing if necessary. If your candidacy is approved, you will be placed on the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list. You and your referring physician will receive a written confirmation. We will contact you immediately upon obtaining our approval to list our patients on the waitlist for a kidney transplant.
Your referring nephrologist and primary care physician will continue to manage your healthcare needs while you wait for your transplant. While you are on the waiting list, you will need to make periodic visits to the Transplant Institute so that doctors can assess changes in your health status, address any ongoing concerns and provide you with support. Visits to the GW Transplant Institute do not substitute for routine primary care physician visits.
It is important that the GW Transplant Institute be kept informed about any significant changes in your medical condition or hospitalizations, since changes in your medical condition can greatly influence the time to transplantation. Please have your referring nephrologist and primary care physician contact us to update us on your current health status.
UNOS provides a toll-free patient services line to help transplant candidates, recipients, and family members understand organ allocation practices and transplantation data. You may also call this number to discuss any concerns or experiences you would like to share about your transplant center or transplantation system in general. The toll-free patient services line is 1-888-894-6361.
Your body will need help getting used to your new kidney so your transplant team will prescribe medications that will decrease the risk of rejection, and will closely monitor your condition. We will work closely with your nephrologist and primary care physician in arranging effective follow-up check-ups and tests.
Joseph Keith Melancon, MD
Joseph Keith Melancon, MD, is Chief of the GW Transplant Institute and professor of surgery at The George Washington University Hospital.
2131 K Street NW
2131 K Street NW