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Kidney Transplant Program

The Kidney Transplant Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is one of the largest and most experienced in the country, providing individualized and innovative care to patients with advanced kidney failure. 
Graphic of a torso with the kidneys highlighted
Graphic of a torso with the kidneys highlighted

Explore This Program

Why Choose Mass General for Kidney Transplant Care

A pioneer in organ transplant since 1963, the Kidney Transplant Program at Massachusetts General Hospital uses leading-edge technology to provide individualized care for patients with advanced kidney disease.

High-Volume Center and Best Results

Our surgeons perform more kidney transplants every year than other New England hospitals, and achieve some of the best graft and survival rates nationwide.

Experience and Innovation

Mass General is home to one of the largest transplant research centers in the world, with cutting-edge technology and approaches such as protocols that enable transplant recipients to thrive without antirejection drugs. 

Following kidney transplant, patients typically require lifelong immunosuppressive medications to prevent their immune systems from attacking the new organ. However, our groundbreaking research is allowing some patients to live drug-free after transplant

Robotic Surgery

Mass General has one the fastest growing robotic surgery programs in New England, allowing quicker recovery of our patients following surgery among other benefits.

Individualized Care

With a dedicated team of more than 100 providers, we provide individualized care for patients with complex medical and surgical conditions including obesity, cancer, and high sensitization.

Expedited Listing Process

An accelerated process with minimal testing allows patients to accumulate time on the waitlist quicker than other centers.

Living Donor Program

Our living donor kidney team at Mass General performs more living donor kidney transplants than any other center in New England. We offer a variety of resources to support patients pursuing living donation including monthly coaching sessions on how to find a living donor, ways to prevent financial burden, and a robust paired-kidney exchange program for incompatible living donor pairs 


Our physician-scientists at Mass General have over 30 years of experience pioneering xenotransplantation. We are harnessing cutting-edge science to enhance the compatibility of pig kidneys with the human body, making pig-to-human transplants safer than ever. This innovative approach offers renewed hope to those awaiting life-saving kidney transplants.

For current and prospective patients interested in more information about xenotransplantation at MGH, please visit

What to Expect: Kidney Transplant at Mass General

High Kidney Transplant Volumes and Best Outcomes

Mass General performs significantly more kidney transplants than other Massachusetts institutions. Higher volumes mean more experience. Our high volume of kidney transplants—and skilled team of kidney transplant surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and social workers who guide patients through every stage of care—help us to attain excellent results in treating patients who need a kidney transplant.

High Survival Rate

The Mass General Kidney Transplant Program ranks highest in the United States for survival after transplant surgery. Three years after transplant surgery, over 96% of Mass General patients are alive with a functioning graft compared to 90% nationwide.

Patient Testimonials

Patients share their experiences receiving care at the Mass General Transplant Center.

Patient Resources: Videos

Watch the following videos from the Transplant Center to learn more about kidney transplantation at Mass General.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule an appointment?

To begin the kidney transplant process, your primary care physician or nephrologist can submit a referral for you, or you can request an appointment directly.

Request an appointment

Submit a referral

Once received, a kidney transplant nurse coordinator and transplant nephrologist will review your records and schedule your evaluation at either our Boston location or one of our community locations.

What I can expect during the kidney transplant evaluation process?

During the initial evaluation, patients will:

  • Review a kidney transplant education video
  • Undergo blood testing
  • Meet in-person with their nurse coordinator, nephrologist, social worker, and patient navigator
  • Set up an appointment to meet virtually with the dietitian and financial coordinator

If you are also a candidate for pancreas transplantation, you will be evaluated for both transplants at the same time.

As often as possible, our team aims to complete an evaluation for early kidney transplant within two weeks of receiving a referral or appointment request. Early transplant allows for patients to accrue time on the national waitlist as soon as possible and avoid dialysis.

After the initial visit, you will return for additional testing, which may include, cardiac stress testing, chest X-ray and electrocardiogram (EKG), additional blood and urine tests, and abdominal imaging. Patients may be asked to schedule tests with their primary care physician and/or other specialists, such as a colonoscopy (age 45+), mammogram (age 40+), or pap smear. Alternatively, if these tests have been performed within the past year, patients can simply provide the recent results.

Once all testing is complete, the Mass General transplant team will determine the patient’s readiness for a kidney transplant and outline the next steps.

What happens once I have been accepted for kidney transplant?

Once you are determined to be ready for kidney transplant surgery, your care team will review with you your options for receiving a donor organ – living donation and deceased donation.

What is living donor kidney transplant?

The best option to receive a new kidney is from a living kidney donor, as living donation does not require you to spend time on the organ waitlist, reduces your need for dialysis, and more. Living donors are often someone in the patient’s life who is willing to donate their kidney to them.

Learn more about living donation

What is the deceased kidney donor waitlist?

Patients without a living donor are placed on the national deceased donor waitlist. Because there are many more people in need of a kidney transplant than there are kidneys available, patients may wait on the list for few years. As time progresses, patients move to the top of the list and receive a kidney.

When a deceased donor organ becomes available, you will receive a call from our coordinator or surgeon, asking you to come into the hospital for the transplant. Since this call can come at any time, you should provide our center with all of your phone numbers, as well as the phone numbers of a few emergency contacts, so that we can contact you when needed.

Innovation and Research at MGH

MGH is home to one of the largest transplant research centers in the world and is the leading teaching hospital from Harvard Medical School. 

New Immunosuppression Regimens

Transplant patients take medications to keep their immune system from rejecting their new organs. The standard medications used today are effective but have many side effects, including toxicity to the transplanted kidney which tends to shorten the lifespan of the organ. Less toxic drugs have been developed to support better long-term kidney function. The MGH Transplant Center is one of many academic medical centers conducting clinical trials using these newer immunosuppressive agents. 

Legorreta Center for Clinical Transplant Tolerance

In spite of advances over the last 50 years in anti-rejection medications, the side effects of long-term immunosuppressive therapy remain a major problem for post-transplant patients. The MGH Transplant Center has been a leader in developing procedures that allow transplant patients to take fewer or no medications. These protocols continue to improve in living donor kidney transplantation and will soon expand to include patients who receive deceased donor kidneys as well.

Learn more


The United States is facing a significant organ shortage. Currently, over 108,000 individuals need an organ, but fewer than 40,000 transplants are performed every year in the U.S. To address this unmet health care need, we are investigating the use of pig-to-human transplantation. With recent advances in genetic modification technology, we have now achieved the first successful kidney xenotransplant in 2024.

With three decades of dedicated research, our team at Mass General is leading the way in using genetically engineered pig kidneys to address the critical shortage of organs. These transplants from pigs to humans are a beacon of hope for patients awaiting vital kidney transplants, made safer and more compatible through genetic advancements. With patients at the center, we are committed to safety and efficacy for all.

Islet Transplantation

The absence of insulin-producing cells in the body results in type 1 diabetes. Islet transplantation replaces the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas without the risks of major abdominal surgery that come with a whole organ pancreas transplant. The MGH Transplant Center is one of the few centers in the country, and the only in New England, that can isolate and transplant pancreatic islets. Islet transplantation is an option for patients who have had a previous kidney transplant and for those without kidney disease. 

Learn More  

Glomerular Disease Recurrence After Transplant

Recurrence of kidney disease is the third leading cause of graft loss. The MGH Kidney Transplant Program is leading a multicenter study looking at kidney disease recurrence after transplantation, tackling challenges such as FSGS recurrence and IgA recurrence

Learn More 

Infections After Transplant

Infections after transplant are relatively common, especially within the first year. All transplant patients receive prophylactic therapy in order to prevent such infections. The MGH Transplant Center is participating in clinical trials which utilize different medications and monitoring of infections in order to prevent and treat post-transplant infections. 

Learn More  

HOPE Act: HIV+ Donors for HIV+ Recipients

The HOPE Act allows organs from HIV positive donors to be transplanted into HIV positive recipients. These are organs that would have been discarded before the HOPE Act was passed. The MGH Transplant Center is one of the few hospitals in the United States doing these transplants. 

Learn More  

Hepatitis C Positive Kidney Transplant for Hepatitis C Negative Recipients

Currently there are more available hepatitis C positive deceased donors in New England than there are recipients. With the arrival of new anti-viral agents Hepatitis C cure rates are almost at 100%. Under a clinical trial protocol, we are now transplanting kidneys from donors who are positive for hepatitis C virus into select recipients who are not infected with the hepatitis C virus. Patients who enter into this trial receive immediate pre-emptive treatment for Hepatitis C. This will allow these selected recipients to be receive a transplant more quickly, avoiding many consequences of prolonged time on the waitlist and dialysis related complications. 

Learn More  

A Pioneer in Organ Transplantation since 1963

The Kidney Transplant Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is one of the largest and most experienced in the country, providing individualized and innovative care to patients with advanced kidney failure.