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If you have no living donor available, the kidney used for your transplant surgery will come from a deceased donor. Regardless of your donor, you'll still undergo the same thorough evaluation to determine whether you're a candidate for transplant surgery. You cannot receive a kidney transplant before the completion of all tests and consultations recommended by the committee. Once you're approved for transplant, you'll be placed on the organ waiting list, at which point you begin to accrue waiting time.
While you wait
The waiting period often is several years and the waiting time for a deceased donor kidney in the San Francisco Bay Area is five to ten years and sometimes longer. The waiting list continues to grow every year.
You may be asked to undergo periodic testing to remain "active" on the waiting list.
You'll continue to be cared for by your referring physician, and transplant physicians are available for consultation and will become actively involved if necessary.
If you've traveled a long distance to Stanford for evaluation, you can return home to await transplantation. If you and your family are returning to remote locations, we can provide help getting back to Stanford when an organ is available.
During the waiting period, the Evaluation Coordinator is available to take your questions, as well as those from your referring physician. The Histocompatibility lab will request regular blood samples to test your antibody levels. Dialysis units are requested to provide monthly medical updates on your health.
Above all, because the waiting period can be extended, it's important for you to let the transplant team know about any serious changes in your health. Keeping us updated improves the chances of a timely transplantation.