Kidney Transplant

The path to transplant can be a winding one, but we’re here to help you walk it every step of the way. Our team, from surgeons to nurses to pharmacists and social workers, has committed their lives to supporting patients like you as they begin a new life, complete with a lifesaving organ. We understand the challenges you’ve faced, whether it’s dialysis impacting daily living or missing out on what you love because you don’t feel well.


Patients with chronic illnesses are more likely to find comfort and support when they’re able to get transplant care close to home. With convenient locations in Greater Cincinnati, we’re proud to provide kidney transplants a few minutes—not hours—from home.

Compassionate Healing Starts Here

Click below to learn more about where you can find compassionate care.

A diagnosis that leads to transplant can feel overwhelming. We understand what you’re experiencing and are here to support you and your family every step of the way. Our experienced team includes experts on everything from your surgery to your medication to your emotional well-being.

To schedule an appointment, please call the Kidney & Pancreas Transplant team at 513-584-7001.

Help Along the Way

Answers to Your Transplant Questions

As you research kidney transplant programs, be an advocate for your own health. It’s common to ask for second opinions. Don’t feel like you’re being disloyal to your own physician when you ask for one. Most welcome the discussion and verification. Ask about living kidney donation, which can shorten wait times. Find out about dual listings, which allow you to register at two or more transplant hospitals. Since candidates at hospitals that are local to the donor’s hospital are usually considered ahead of those who are more distantly located, multiple listings may increase your chances of receiving a local organ offer.

It’s your body. Take charge.

While much goes into a successful transplantation surgery—from a multidisciplinary, highly specialized team that helps patients through the entire journey, to leading-edge research and innovative surgical techniques—transplant isn’t possible without organ donation. UC Health’s Living Donor Program offers a community-based option for organ donation from hometown heroes.

Donating an organ is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Ninety-five percent of Americans support organ donation, yet only 50% are registered organ donors.

Benefits of living donation for the recipient:

  • Close to 96% of living donor kidneys are functioning at the end of the first year.

  • Living donor transplantation offers a better long-term success rate than kidney transplants from a patient that has died.

  • The average length of time a living donor transplant lasts is about 20 years, compared to 10-13 years for a deceased donor kidney.

  • Living donor transplants have shown increased odds of immediate kidney function.

  • Rejections are less common.

  • Fewer medications are needed to prevent rejection.

  • In some cases, patients can avoid dialysis before transplantation.

  • Long waiting periods that can occur with deceased donor transplants are eliminated.

  • Surgery can be scheduled when the recipient is in optimal medical condition.

  • Living donor transplantation can offer a significant psychological benefit to the donor.

Types of living donors:

  • Related (blood relatives).

  • Unrelated (friends, spouse, neighbor).

The evaluation process:

  • Once compatibility is determined, we will bring you in for a full day of medical testing. At that time, you will also meet with different members of the Transplant team. There is no cost to the donor for the evaluation or the surgery itself.

  • Your medical evaluation is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone without your consent.

  • You can decide at any time to change your mind about proceeding with donation. Your reason is kept confidential.

In addition to UC Health’s Living Donor Program, anyone can register to be an organ and tissue donor. Simply indicate your decision when obtaining or renewing your driver’s license or state I.D. You may also register online at

Please call 513-584-8313 and speak to our living donor nurse any time you have any questions.

UC Health transplant surgeons have led the development of kidney exchange programs since 1997. Today, UC Health is a member of the National Kidney Registry, which increases access to living kidney donors throughout the nation. In a kidney exchange, two or more living kidney donor/recipient pairs (both of whom cannot undergo transplantation because of incompatibility) are matched so that they receive a compatible kidney for transplantation.

Your wait time depends on how long you have been on dialysis or on the national kidney waiting list.  We encourage you to refer to our program early in the process so we can evaluate you for a transplant and potentially add you to the waitlist.

Waiting for a transplant can be stressful, exciting or worrisome. We understand all of those emotions and work every day to shorten the wait times. Here are some things to know about wait times for kidney transplants at University of Cincinnati Medical Center:

  1. Our living donor conversion rate is one of the highest in the country. That means we help more people successfully follow through becoming a living donor.

  2. We are among the top 40 centers nationally for the number of kidney transplants performed every year.  

The UC Health Kidney Transplant Program has a team of nurse coordinators who are highly specialized, which improves our transplant patients’ care. Our team includes a dedicated living donor coordinator, a sensitized patient coordinator for our Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic, specialized pre-transplant coordinators and nurse coordinators, who are specialized in care after the transplant.

Why UC Health

Experience and Expertise

Pioneering Minimally Invasive Living Kidney Donor Surgery

The UC Health Kidney Transplant Program was one of the first centers in the country to perform 100% of our live kidney donor surgeries laparoscopically. This results in faster recovery and reduced pain for people who are donating a kidney to save a life.

Reducing Steroid Doses

UC Health researchers pioneered the reduction of steroid-type drugs in transplant patients, decreasing the many negative side effects associated with long-term steroid use.

Access to Research and Clinical Trials

UC Health is a recognized leader in research, including studies of new medications to prevent and treat rejection and decrease side effects, and new immunosuppressive agents and steroid-free immunosuppression. Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic We offer patients with incompatible living donors a specialized clinic: the Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic Program (SPEEC Program). This clinic quadruples the opportunity for patients undergoing living donor transplants, and receives patients referred from kidney transplant programs all over the U.S.

Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic

We offer patients with incompatible living donors a specialized clinic: the Sensitized Patient Education and Evaluation Clinic Program (SPEEC Program). This clinic quadruples the opportunity for patients undergoing living donor transplants, and receives patients referred from kidney transplant programs all over the U.S.

Care Just Around the Corner

Getting treatment closer to where you live makes a big difference. It means not only are you closer to the comforts of home, family and friends, but it also helps cut costs and time. Pre- and post-surgical appointments and treatment can be significant, and being able to visit us quickly and easily improves your journey.

State-of-the-Art Tissue Typing Laboratory

UC Health kidney transplant patients benefit from the large system of support, such as the Hoxworth Blood Center Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) Laboratory, for expert tissue typing and on-site pathology with 24-hour biopsy results.

Partner with Us

Referring Physicians: Success and Provider Toolbox

We are close partners with referring physicians. We keep them informed and engaged. Our provider toolbox allows us to share health indicator information quickly and easily. This gives physicians access to a patient’s health levels, which may change often and can impact their need for a transplant.

Call for referral information

Contact US

At UC Health, we lead the region in scientific discoveries and embrace a spirit of purpose—offering our patients and their families something beyond everyday healthcare. At UC Health, we offer hope.