Providence Kidney & Pancreas Transplant
We provide high-level care to people in need of evaluation, therapies or services for complex kidney conditions, including organ transplants.
We know that managing your condition and preparing for a transplant can be a difficult balancing act. At Providence, your transplant doctors and care team provide personalized services and care.
Our nephrologists work with other specialists to evaluate kidney and pancreas conditions in people who may benefit from organ transplant surgery. We will guide you from evaluation and coordinated services, through surgery and long-term follow-up care.
The Kidney Transplant Program is part of a multi-organ transplant center at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. You’ll receive complete, personalized assessment and treatment for end-stage renal disease.
You’ll have close support and guidance from our experienced transplant team, including specialized pancreas care if you have a multiple organ transplant procedure. Our program is part of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and is an approved Medicare program.
Whether you receive or donate a kidney, you can count on dedicated care from transplant leaders. Our services include:
- Collaboration with your health care providers
- Comprehensive evaluation
- Education about your condition and treatment
- Long-term support and follow-up care
- Preparation for transplant
- Transplant surgery
Your doctor and care team will evaluate your condition to determine whether a kidney transplant is an option. Providence transplant specialists consider these and other requirements:
- A diagnosis of end-stage renal disease
- An absence of certain health conditions, such as active cancer, liver or heart disease
- At least 18 years of age, with no firm upper age limit, depending on health status
- Evidence of being socially responsible, willing and able to comply with medical treatment
- Of fair health, with no active infections or other major medical problems
Providence accepts kidney-transplant referrals from doctors throughout Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, as well as doctors from outside this area. We also accept self-referrals. To be considered for kidney transplant surgery, contact the transplant team: 509-474-4500 or 800-667-0502.
A transplant coordinator will help you arrange transplant education, evaluation testing, and appointments with our transplant nephrologist, surgeon and psychologist.
Providence transplant specialists will decide whether a transplant is a good treatment option for you. If you’re eligible to receive a kidney transplant, our transplant coordinators will talk with you about additional details and processes.
Your pancreas is a small but important organ located behind your stomach in the upper part of your abdomen. It releases enzymes that help you digest food. It also produces insulin and glucagon hormones that manage blood sugar.
If your treatment plan includes a pancreas transplant, surgeons will place a pancreas from a deceased organ donor into your body. Once you have a new pancreas, you will no longer need insulin injections but you’ll still need certain medications and follow-up care.
Providence accepts pancreas-transplant referrals from doctors throughout Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon, as well as doctors from outside this area. We also accept self-referrals. To be considered for pancreas transplant surgery, contact the transplant team: 509-474-4500 or 800-667-0502.
Transplant specialists will review your medical history, condition and other details. You will complete extensive personal and medical testing, including the same tests used for kidney transplant evaluation, plus a few additional tests.
If you meet certain requirements and our transplant team decides that a pancreas transplant is a good treatment option for you, we will notify you and place your name on the national waiting list. We’ll talk about surgery options, which include:
- Simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant: for people with end-stage kidney disease and diabetes-related complications
- Pancreas transplant: for people who have a condition called hypoglycemic unawareness or other complications from diabetes
In addition to other organ transplant requirements, you must meet the following pancreas-transplant criteria:
- Insulin-dependent diabetes with daily insulin needs less than or equal to 1 unit/kilogram
- Body mass index (BMI) of less than or equal to 30 with C-peptide less than or equal to 2 ng/ml
- BMI less than or equal to 28 with C-peptide greater than 2 ng/ml
Please contact our kidney and pancreas transplant program at 1-800-667-0502 for more information about whether a pancreas transplant is a good treatment option for you.
If you have advanced kidney disease and diabetes complications, Providence transplant doctors review your medical condition, health history and other evaluation process details. Transplant doctors may advise either single or combined organ transplant surgery. Separate operations may be needed for certain medical conditions.
If you’d like to be considered for transplant surgery, our nephrologist or dialysis unit can refer you to our program. You can also refer yourself. Contact us at 509-474-4500 or 800-667-0502. Please complete the transplant referral form in advance. After we receive your referral, we will contact you to start the transplant process.
During your transplant evaluation, you’ll have several types of tests. The transplant program pays for lab tests, radiology tests and cardiac tests. You’ll need a dental evaluation and cancer screening depending on your age and risk. You are responsible for paying for these tests.
We will schedule an educational session and evaluation with all transplant team members. Please bring a support person with you who will help you throughout your recovery.
To be considered for a kidney or kidney-pancreas transplant, you must meet these criteria:
- Have irreversible kidney failure with 20% or less of normal kidney function, requiring or close to requiring dialysis.
- Certain types of kidney disease must be at an inactive stage.
- Have adequate insurance to cover the transplant, medications, office visits and lab testing needs after your transplant.
- Arrange to have someone immediately available to support you after your transplant, as well as family or friends who can help you get to and from office visits and lab testing, as well as with home care needs.
- Be able to understand and manage, or have someone help you manage, the medical treatments needed for a successful transplant. You’ll take medications for life, and need regular lab testing and doctor visits.
- No active, chronic or untreatable infection.
- No severe heart disease, blood vessel disease, liver or lung disease, or other unmanaged medical problems.
- No current cancer or a cancer with a high chance of reoccurring. If you have had cancer, you’ll require a period of observation after treatment to assure there is no recurrence.
- No use of nicotine and no active use of recreational or illicit drugs, including marijuana.
- No untreatable mental illness. If you have a mental illness, it must be well treated and you must have a treatment plan that includes routine psychology or psychiatry follow up.
- A good social support system, which may include a group of friends, family, co-workers or church members.
- Demonstration of medical compliance by completing and attending all dialysis sessions as prescribed, attending doctors’ visits, taking medications as prescribed and completing your transplant evaluation as scheduled.
- Have a primary care doctor or a diabetes doctor to provide care after transplant.
- Have a weight with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 39.
For a pancreas transplant, you must meet these additional criteria:
- Insulin-dependent diabetes requiring less than or equal to 1U/kg/day of insulin.
- Body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 30 with C-peptide less than or equal to 2 ng/mL.
- BMI less than or equal to 28 with C-peptide greater than 2 ng/mL.
You can choose to become a living donor for a non-vital organ such as a second kidney, or you can offer permission for medical professionals to use your tissues and organs after your death to help others. It takes a strong spirit and a generous heart to become an organ donor. If you take the leap, you’ll change lives.
To be a living kidney donor, please complete the confidential online health history form before contacting Providence Kidney & Pancreas Transplant at 509-474-4500.
If you choose to take the generous step of donating a kidney, you’ll change someone’s life and it can enrich your own life as well.
Benefits of living kidney donation include:
- You’ll make a positive difference in someone’s life
- You may help someone avoid years of waiting for a compatible kidney from a deceased donor
- You can improve the likelihood of a successful transplant, since kidneys from living donors generally work well for a longer period of time that those of deceased donors
To donate a kidney to a relative or someone else, you must meet the following living donor requirements:
- Good overall physical and mental health
- At least 18 years old
- You may be related to the recipient, but it’s not required
All of your evaluation and hospitalization costs are paid for by the Providence transplant program. The insurer of the person receiving the organ typically covers these medical expenses after the transplant.
Costs that you should consider when donating include lost wages, transportation, lodging and childcare. Financial help is available for your travel, lodging, meals and other non-medical expenses. You will receive information from the National Living Donor Assistance Center, which helps make your donation more affordable.
Whether you receive or donate an organ, Providence financial coordinators will guide you through the process to ensure a successful experience. Our services include:
- Answering your insurance-related questions
- Assessing your coverage to ensure that it covers the cost of your surgery and recovery
- Discussing insurance coverage options and what your plan covers, including important post-transplant medications
- Identifying the best financial plan that works for you
We've created videos to provide education and information as it relates to receiving a kidney and/or pancreas transplant through Providence Sacred Heart Transplant Services. Get started by watching the pre-transplant education.
You can find helpful resources related to organ transplantation from these organizations:
- Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients
- National Living Donor Assistance Center
- Medicare | 877-486-2048
- Social Security Administration Office | 800-772-1213
- Help Hope Live Foundation | 800-642-8399
- National Foundation for Transplants | 800-489-3863
- Children’s Organ Transplant Association | 800-366-2682
These and other Providence health care professionals are part of the kidney and pancreas transplant program team:
- Advanced practitioners
- Diabetes education specialists
- Financial coordinators
- Living donor coordinators and specialists
- Nephrology social workers
- Nurse practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Registered nurses
- Renal dietitians
- Transplant coordinators
- Transplant surgeons
- Vascular surgeons
Meet Tiffany and Daisy in this short video from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children's Hospital. You’ll hear how much it matters to people who have received the most generous gift of all – the gift of life.
In this video, Heather and Danae share their story about the life-changing value of organ donation.