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Kidney Transplant

Our Phone Number: 914.493.1990

Kidney transplant at Westchester Medical Center: Cutting-edge care that transforms lives

Westchester Medical Center’s renowned Kidney Transplant Program has saved and improved thousands of lives since 1989. Every patient benefits from state-of-the-art medical expertise, the finest physicians and equipment, and a focus first and foremost on well-being. Learn more by calling 914.493.1990.

This specialized team’s advanced, precise treatment is conveniently close to home at Westchester Medical Center, the pre-eminent healthcare provider in the Hudson River Valley and flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). Each patient receives unique access to all medical treatments in one location and benefits from an important personal touch: the entire team – including a patient coordinator for each transplant patient – is dedicated to ensuring an optimum experience for the patient and family.

The Westchester Medical Center Kidney Transplant Program is the only one in the Hudson Valley. Its outstanding reputation and specialized expertise draw patients from across the greater New York metropolitan area and beyond.

Successful transplant is life-changing – and the start of a lifelong partnership between the patient and transplant team that helps ensure ongoing quality of life. Patients are closely followed by Westchester Medical Center’s team for the first few months after surgery, then less frequently as time progresses. Patients transition back to their referring doctor’s care, but the transplant team sees patients annually, for life.

Kidneys for transplant are secured from donors who are alive (a family member or friend, for example) and deceased. Westchester Medical Center participates in the United Network for Organ Sharing. This national registry equitably identifies deceased donors’ kidneys for possible transplantation and promotes effective, safe care and efficient organ use.

Kidneys remove wastes and excess fluid from blood by producing urine. Transplant is necessary to lengthen and preserve life. It enables most patients to be free from dialysis and have fewer dietary restrictions. Successful transplants also are less expensive, over time, than dialysis.

A kidney transplant is necessary when a patient is diagnosed with end-stage renal (kidney) disease. Causes include diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), polycystic kidney disease, lupus and glomerulonephritis. Immunosuppressive therapy before surgery and for the lifespan of the transplanted kidney helps prevent organ rejection.

Four Phases of Transplant

Kidney transplantation is a meticulous multi-phase process that starts well before potential surgery. Please click on each link below to learn more about each step.

Evaluation and Suitability for Transplant

Westchester Medical Center and all transplant centers employ a thorough process to determine if a patient is eligible for a transplant. Just as importantly, they guide patients through this juncture of life with compassion and educational information at every step.

At Westchester Medical Center, the first step is review of a patient’s medical history. Then, patients receive stress tests, echocardiograms and breathing-function analysis. Other examinations may be required as well to screen for cancers as age dictates.

Test data are evaluated by a multidisciplinary team consisting of the nephrologist (kidney doctor), surgeon, transplant coordinator, social worker, nutritionist and financial coordinator. Consultations with specialists in oncology, OB-GYN, pediatrics, cardiology, etc., ensure the thorough consideration of transplant potential for each patient.

The transplant team then determines if the patient meets medical criteria for transplantation. Patients and referring physicians are notified whether the patient will join the national waiting list for a donated organ.

It is an immediate priority for the transplant coordinator to explore the possibility of the patient identifying a suitable living donor – perhaps a family member, friend, co-worker or someone from a place of worship. Patients receiving a transplant from a living donor, compared to a transplant from deceased donor, generally are transplanted much sooner and can expect better outcomes.

Kidney donations from deceased donors, identified through a national registry system, are an option as well.

If a living donor cannot be secured, the patient is added to the national waiting list for a kidney. While awaiting transplant, patients return to Westchester Medical Center's Transplant Center every 12-18 months for re-evaluation. This ensures candidates remain medically suitable for transplant; medical conditions often change over time. Communication among the referring physician, Transplant Center and patient is crucial in ensuring that patients remain healthy for transplantation.

Pre-Transplant Waiting Period

The wait for a donor kidney varies significantly. Availability, medical compatibility and changes in the transplant candidate’s condition are prime determinants of when a transplant may be possible.

Donation from a living donor is a preferred option and can significantly shorten the waiting time for a transplant.

If live kidney donation is not an option, a donation from someone recently deceased is required. Waiting times for a medically suitable kidney can be substantial because of the huge demand.

As the patient awaits a donation, dialysis to clean blood is required to preserve life.

Transplant Surgery

Patients choosing kidney transplant surgery at Westchester Medical Center benefit from a trusted, experienced team of experts on the leading edge of medical advancement.

The patient’s comfort and well-being are priorities throughout the procedure, which lasts a few hours. While the patient is under general anesthesia, the surgeon connects the new kidney with blood vessels at the lower part of the abdomen, near a leg. The new kidney also is connected to the bladder. The original non- or low-functioning kidneys typically are left in place if they are not the cause of complications that may include disease, kidney stones, pain or infection. Doing this minimizes the extent of surgery.

The patient is hospitalized for four to six days; fuller recuperation at home can take up to six weeks.

Post-Operative Care

For the best outcomes, patients must be ready, willing and able to be responsible for their care or have a family member who will do so.

Self-care includes:

  • Taking medicines as directed.
  • Completing testing and check-ups.
  • Attendance at medical appointments.
  • Rescheduling missed appointments.

Transplantation patients must take medications to maintain their transplanted organ, prevent infection and treat common medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol. Following transplantation, dietary changes are likely necessary. A patient also must immediately report fever or illness to a transplant center physician or nurse.

Transplant staff also should be alerted if:

  • A patient or family experiences problems obtaining medicines.
  • Insurance coverage changes.
  • If a patient is prescribed new medication by another physician. This coordination is required to prevent unintended drug interactions with essential transplant-related medication.

Living Kidney Donation

Living kidney donors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are family, friends, or coworkers of transplant candidates, while others give the gift of life anonymously, sometimes even to someone they’ve never met. 

Living kidney donation provides several benefits for the waitlist recipient. Thanks to living kidney donors, recipients receive kidneys faster (typically less than a year) and also receive a higher quality kidney than from a deceased donor.  Additionally, living kidney donation provides the opportunity for another candidate to receive a deceased donor kidney that may have otherwise gone to the recipient.

If a living kidney donor’s blood type is not a match for the recipient, they can enroll in the Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program. The KPD program matches incompatible donor-recipient pairs to other eligible pairs for a kidney swap. The donor from one pair donates to the recipient of the other pair, and vice versa.

For additional information about living donation, please go to UNOS.org.

How to Become a Living Kidney Donor at WMC

Westchester Medical Center specializes in living kidney donation. If you are interested in becoming a living kidney donor, please contact us at 914.493.1990 and ask to speak with a Living Kidney Donor Coordinator, or complete the form below.

Get Information About Becoming a Living Kidney Donor



Westchester Medical Center works closely with each patient to secure a kidney from a deceased donor if a live kidney donor is not an option.

Everyone waiting for a deceased-donor organ is registered on a national waiting list managed by the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing. Hyperlink to https://unos.org This national organization determines recipients of deceased-donor kidneys. In addition to medical compatibility, the geographic proximity of the donor and potential recipient is weighed. Kidneys expected to function the longest often are directed to candidates expected to need them the longest.

Deceased donors are usually unrelated to a transplant patient. The donors designated their organs for transplant consideration via a donor card, driver license designation or by registering on a National Donor Registry Family members of the deceased also may approve organ donation. Families also have the choice to direct their loved one’s donation to someone they know who is registered on the national waiting list.

The majority of kidneys transplanted in the United States are from deceased donors, but the demand far exceeds the supply. That means a medically suitable kidney may not be available for a substantial amount of time – potentially years. In addition, kidneys from deceased donors may not function as fully as a kidney from a donor who is alive.

Speed is an essential component in transplantation from a deceased donor. Every medical precaution is taken to sustain the donor’s body functions after brain death so the kidney can be removed. It then is quickly transported, often via a flight, to the recipient’s hospital.

Kidney Transplant Center

Westchester Medical Center
Ambulatory Care Pavilion
100 Woods Rd.
Valhalla, NY 10595
Phone: 914.493.1990
Fax: 914.493.2419

Veillette, Gregory R., MD
Gregory Veillette, MD
Chief, Surgical Oncology and Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgery
  • Intra-Abdominal Transplantation & Hepatobiliary Surgery
  • General Surgery
Dhand, Abhay, MD
Abhay Dhand, MD
Director, Transplant Infectious Diseases
Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
Gamboa, Martha C., MD
  • Psychiatry & Neurology, Psychiatry
Glicklich, Daniel G., MD
Daniel Glicklich, MD
Medical Director, Kidney Transplant
  • Internal Medicine, Nephrology
  • Internal Medicine
Greenstein, Stuart M., MD
Stuart Greenstein, MD
Attending surgeon, Director of Outreach and Program Development for Transplant Service
  • Surgery
John, Devon G., MD
Devon John, MD
Chief, Renal Transplant
  • Intra-Abdominal Transplantation & Hepatobiliary Surgery
  • General Surgery
Misawa, Ryosuke, MD, PhD
Ryosuke Misawa, MD, PhD
Advanced Surgical Associates
Transplant Surgery
Department of Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Transplant Surgery
Mustafa, Muhammad R., MD
  • Internal Medicine, Nephrology
Nishida, Seigo, MD
Seigo Nishida, MD
Chief, Liver and Pediatric Transplant
  • Intra-Abdominal Transplantation & Hepatobiliary Surgery
  • General Surgery
Nog, Rajat, MD
Rajat Nog, MD
Transplant Infectious Disease Physician
  • Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
Samsonov, Dmitry V., MD
  • Pediatrics, Nephrology
Singh, Nandita, DO
  • Internal Medicine, Nephrology
Sogawa, Hiroshi, MD
Hiroshi Sogawa, MD
Transplant Surgeon
Associate Professor of Surgery
  • Intra-Abdominal Transplantation & Hepatobiliary Surgery