In the past, the calculation of the eGFR for Black individuals could result in an overestimation of kidney function, which could delay their disease stage identification and treatment. The United Organ Sharing Network has removed the race variable in the eGFR calculation, making it race-neutral.
Kidney Transplant Program
Massachusetts General Hospital
165 Cambridge Street, Suite 301
Boston, MA 02114
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Additional Kidney Evaluation Clinic Locations
100 Everett Avenue
Chelsea, MA 02150
Mass General—North Shore
102-104 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923
Mass General Brigham—Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (Pease)
67 Corporate Drive, Building A
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Cooley Dickinson Hospital
30 Locust Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Support the Kidney Transplant Program
Your gift enables our team at the Transplant Center to pursue and provide the best treatment options for patients with end-stage renal disease.
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.
Mass General has one the fastest growing robotic surgery programs in New England, allowing quicker recovery of our patients following surgery among other benefits.
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
What to Expect: Kidney Transplant at Mass General
The Mass General Kidney Transplant team guides patients through every stage of care with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, case managers, financial coordinators and other clinicians to help navigate the transplant process.
- Surgical Director, Kidney Transplantation
- Chair of Quality Improvement, Transplant Center
- Operations Director, Legorreta Center for Clinical Transplant Tolerance
- Harold and Ellen Danser Endowed Chair in Transplantation
- Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation
- Associate Director, Legorreta Center for Clinical Transplant Tolerance
- Surgical Director of Living Kidney Donation at Mass General Hospital
- Surgical Director of Liver Transplant at Brigham Hospital
- Department of Medicine
- Director, Legorreta Center for Clinical Transplant Tolerance
- A.Benedict Cosimi Chair in Transplant Surgery
- Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
- Director, Diabetes Center
- Medical Director, MGH Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program
- Director, MGH Herscot Center for TSC Kidney Care
- Associate Medical Director for Living Donation, Kidney Transplant Program
- Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Medical Director
- Nephrology - Department of Medicine
- Department of Medicine
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.
Patients share their experiences receiving care at the Mass General Transplant Center.
A New Kidney, a New Life: Jesus’ Story
When Jesus needed a new kidney, his wife, Teresa, wanted to become his living donor. But, she was an incompatible match. With the help of their Mass General team, they participated in a paired-kidney exchange.
A Family Bond: The Gift of Life Through Living Kidney Donation
An organ transplant can completely transform a recipient’s health and quality of life. Linda Monich, living kidney donor, shares what her experience was like donating a kidney to her husband, Tim, 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.
MGH Kidney Disease, Transplantation, and Innovations
In this Mass General Blum Learning Center presentation, Leonardo V. Riella, MD, PhD, discusses the challenges of kidney disease, explains why kidney transplantation is the best treatment option for most patients, and shares current exciting innovations at Mass General.
What to Expect for Kidney Transplantation
This educational video informs Mass General kidney transplant candidates on what to expect for their transplant.
Transplant Medication Education
Christin Marks, transplant pharmacist, provides an overview of what to expect from medications that patients take after transplant.
The Road to Racial Equity in Kidney Transplant
In this Mass General Blum Learning Center presentation, Winfred Williams, MD, and Jamil Sulemana, RN, BSN, discuss kidney disease in the Black community, the differences between dialysis and kidney transplant, and when one should consider kidney transplantation.
Q&A About Living Donation
Leigh Anne Dageforde, MD, MPH, transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon, talks about what it means to be a living donor and the difference one donation can make.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Glomerular Disease Recurrence After Transplant
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.
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.
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.
Related News and Articles
- Patient Story
- Jan | 12 | 2023
Read a patient’s experience about undergoing kidney transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, and receiving a new kidney through living donation.
- Patient Story
- Apr | 18 | 2022
When her family member was in need, Andrea wasted no time in becoming a living kidney donor. She became Mass General’s first living donor to undergo robotic nephrectomy.
- Apr | 9 | 2021
Linda Monich, living kidney donor, shares what her experience was like donating a kidney to her husband, Tim, at the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center.
- Patient Story
- Feb | 10 | 2021
When Ann Foti learned that she could become a living donor for her husband, Gino, she was determined to donate her kidney to him; however, because of complications with Gino’s condition and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, their journey toward transplantation surgery was far from simple.
- Jan | 14 | 2019
Don Burl III is on the brink of receiving his fourth kidney transplant, courtesy of a paired kidney exchange that involves a member of his extended family and a complete stranger.
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.