Eliot Heher, MD, with patient
Nephrologist Eliot Heher, MD, discusses treatment with a patient.

Mass General Kidney Transplant volumes
For the full report, visit the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network

A pioneer in organ transplant since 1963, the Adult Kidney Transplant Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center employs leading-edge medical and surgical technology to provide individualized care for patients with chronic kidney disease. Our expert surgeons have performed nearly 3,000 kidney transplants, and have achieved some of the best graft and patient survival rates in the country. In 2015, 36% of patients receiving kidney transplants at Mass General had never needed a single dialysis treatment prior to transplant, which is more than twice the national average. 
 
Kidney transplant patients typically require lifelong immunosuppressive medications to prevent their immune systems from attacking the new organ. However, our ground-breaking research is allowing some patients to live drug-free after transplant. We also offer options for highly sensitized patients, patients with incompatible living donors, and patients with challenging medical or surgical issues.

Leadership in Kidney Transplantation

We have consistently led the field in tolerance or the acceptance of transplanted organs without long-term immunosuppression. We performed the first successful tolerance induction for renal allografts in patients with multiple myeloma in 1998. We initiated the first ITN-sponsored clinical tolerance trials for adults in 2001, and performed the first successful tolerance induction in mismatched renal transplant recipients in 2008.

Advanced Evaluation, Multidisciplinary Care

All our patients receive integrated, comprehensive care to treat chronic renal failure, beginning with a careful assessment and discussion with the patient to ensure that transplantation is his/her best treatment option. Candidates work with a transplant coordinator, who participates in the initial evaluation, gathers medical information and previous test results. The transplant coordinator also manages the patient’s full evaluation, which includes patient education, medical, surgical and psychosocial evaluation, and transplant-specific testing. Learn more about the pre-transplant evaluation

Kidney transplant candidates are placed on the national United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list, which manages the distribution of organs nationwide. Learn more about the waiting list

Transplantation for Incompatible Donor-recipient Pairs

Mass General is a leader in transplanting patients whose live donor is incompatible with them, either because of blood group or anti-HLA antibodies. We offer:

  • Desensitization therapy, in which antibodies are removed from the recipient in advance of transplantation. Mass General has performed dozens of these procedures over the last 10-15 years. The success of this approach was recently described in a New England Journal of Medicine article
  • Paired Kidney Exchange, through the National Kidney Registry or UNOS.  These transplants are sometimes called “swap” programs, in which a recipient’s incompatible donor donates to someone else (often in another city), while their recipient receives a kidney from another, compatible donor

Learn more about programs for patients with incompatible living donors

Living Donor Evaluation

Those interested in living kidney donation can contact our donor coordinator for a confidential conversation to learn more, without any commitment to donation. Medical, surgical and psychosocial evaluation begins only after a prospective donor is fully educated and has consented to donate, and candidates may withdraw from the donation process at any time. Learn more about the donor evaluation

Post-transplant Care

After transplantation, patients are followed by our team of surgeons, nephrologists and nurses who manage the post-transplant needs of the patient, including communication with the patient’s primary care physicians and referral to other specialists, as needed. Learn more about post-transplant care

Care at Your Convenience

The Mass General Kidney Transplant Program also conducts a monthly evaluation clinic at our state-of-the-art outpatient facility located in Danvers. Please ask your patient service coordinator for more information on scheduling an appointment at this convenient location.

Meet the Team

The Mass General Kidney Transplant Team guides patients through every stage of care with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, case managers, financial coordinators and other clinicians to help navigate the transplant process. Scroll through the list below to meet the team. Learn more about the Kidney Transplant Team

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