How do I get on the waiting list at the Iowa Methodist Transplant Center?

The Iowa Methodist Transplant Center has one of the shortest waiting times for a deceased donor kidney transplant in America and regularly receives referrals from all over the country. Many of these patients have been waiting years at their local transplant center. Fortunately, search sites like have empowered them to take control of their own health care and seek out centers with shorter waiting times.

To potentially benefit from a transplant a patient should have:
• Progressive, irreversible renal disease
• No active malignancy or infection
• Absence of systemic disease which would severely limit rehabilitation
• Life expectancy greater than 5 years with a successful transplant
• Effective family or social support systems
• Willingness to comply with treatment and follow-up requirements

Absolute contraindications to transplant include:
• Active malignancy
• Severe respiratory conditions
• Severe Ischemic heart disease
• Severe peripheral vascular disease
• Transplant candidate with cirrhosis
• Severe cognitive impairment
• Active drug or alcohol addiction
• Patient non-adherence to therapy.

After your referral is received, you will be contacted by our referral coordinator to review insurance, contact information, and answer questions.  If you wish to proceed, you will be sent information about the center and the transplant process. You will also be sent a medical history form to complete and return. Once this is received, your medical chart will be completed and reviewed with the transplant surgeon. If you have completed dental clearance and age appropriate cancer screening, you will be scheduled for a transplant evaluation. This is usually a two day process. The routine evaluation includes consultation with:
  • transplant surgeon, 
  • transplant nephrologist, 
  • pre-transplant nurse coordinators (recipient and living donor), 
  • dietitian, 
  • pharmacist, 
  • psychologist 
  • social worker.
If clinically required, appointments are arranged with appropriate specialists from other disciplines, e.g cardiologist, urologist, medical oncologist, etc.  You will also complete all the required testing, including:
  • lab studies (cbc, electrolytes, liver function tests, lipid panel, clotting)
  • viral serologies (HIV, HBV, HCV, CMV, HSV, EBV, VZV)
  • CXR
  • ECG
  • cardiac testing (stress test, echocardiogram)
  • tissue typing for HLA class 1 and 2
  • ABO typing
  • abdominal ultrasound.
During the assessment, patients and families receive written and visual information about:
• Transplant process and transplant options
• Risks and benefits (both live donor and deceased donor transplants)
• Medication regimen
• Lifestyle adjustments
• Effect of transplantation on existing medical conditions
• required length of stay in the Des Moines area
• Short and long term outcomes (SRTR data reviewed)

Once you have completed the required testing, your case will be discussed at the selection committee for placement on the UNOS deceased donor waiting list. If you have living donors, you should ask them to contact the center for more information and arrange preliminary testing. If your donor is incompatible, they can be entered in to a national donor exchange program to find you a compatible donor.

Patients can receive a transplant if they have a documented GFR <  20 mL/min/1.73 m. (normal 90-120). Studies clearly show that the best transplant outcomes are seen in those patients that never go on dialysis, but receive a preemptive kidney transplant. You may not need to start dialysis until your GFR has fallen below 15 mL/min/1.73 m2.

An  early referral and listing may allow you to avoid going on dialysis!

Iowa Methodist Transplant Center
The transplant center on Facebook
The Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

Iowa Methodist Transplant Center
Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Methodist Plaza II, Suite 506
1215 Pleasant Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
p: (515) 241-4044
p: (888) 343-4164
f: (515) 241-4100


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