Offering expert care for patients with kidney failure

With one of the largest kidney transplant programs in Texas and more than a 30-year history of providing organ transplant services, we recognize that kidney disease impacts your health and quality of life. If you have a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease (more commonly known as kidney failure) and don’t have any conditions that would exclude you from getting an organ transplant, you may be considered as a candidate for a kidney transplant.  Your physician will refer you to a Baylor Scott & White Health kidney transplant center for a complete evaluation that includes a series of physical examinations, diagnostic tests and educational meetings following a diagnosis of kidney failure.

It is not necessary to be on dialysis prior to transplant. Pre-dialysis candidates should have a kidney function less than or equal to 20% to be placed on the kidney transplant waiting list. If you are eligible for a kidney transplant and your insurer has cleared the procedure, you’ll be placed on our kidney transplant list and registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the national organ-donor system. 

To learn more about kidney transplant, see our patient guide.

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Kidney transplant options

There are three potential options to consider when a kidney transplant is needed:

  • Living kidney donation

    A kidney can be donated by a family member, friend or someone with an emotional tie to the recipient. The donor does not have to be a blood relative to donate or the same race or gender if the necessary blood and tissue typing are compatible.

    Learn more about living kidney donation

  • Paired kidney donation

    You and your willing kidney donor may be eligible for the Paired Kidney Donor Program if the donor is not compatible with you. This allows them to donate their kidney to another recipient who was not compatible to their donor, but who is compatible with you. Their kidney donor would then donate to you.

    Learn more about paired kidney donation

  • Deceased kidney donation

    Patients in need of a kidney transplant can be placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list for a kidney donated by a deceased person who has indicated their willingness to donate. Deceased kidney donations are allocated based on several factors, including compatibility between the patient and donor and length of time on dialysis.

Combined kidney and pancreas transplant

Simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants are performed for patients with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who qualify. The dual transplant functions better than a kidney alone because the new pancreas protects the transplanted kidney from the harmful effects of diabetes. As a result, the new kidney performs better and longer in the kidney/pancreas transplant recipient.

Many kidney/pancreas transplant recipients are free of diabetes years after their transplant and report a higher quality of life than kidney-alone patients. 

Explore combined transplants

Living donor kidney transplants

In a living donor kidney transplant, someone makes a decision to donate one of their kidneys. Donors can be a family member, friend or anyone who has an emotional tie to the recipient. You don’t have to be a blood relative or the same race or gender to donate as long as the necessary blood and tissue typing are compatible.

A living donor kidney transplant can also come from a paired kidney donor program if your donor is not compatible. Under this program, your donor would donate their kidney to another recipient who was not compatible with their own donor, but who is compatible with you. That recipient would get your donor’s kidney and you would get their donor’s kidney.

Contact us

Dallas: 214.820.2050 | Fort Worth: 817.922.4650 | Temple: 254.724.8912

Frequently asked questions about kidney transplant

  • How long is the waiting list for a kidney transplant?

    The waiting time for a kidney transplant can be highly variable. If you have a live donor kidney transplant, your surgery will be scheduled. If you are waiting for a deceased donor or a paired kidney donor, your wait may be difficult to predict and can range from days to years. Learn more about when you need a kidney transplant.

  • Does Baylor Scott & White Health Perform combined kidney and pancreas transplants?

    We do. In fact, as one of the largest organ transplant programs in the state, we have a significantly shorter waiting time than other transplant centers.

  • Does insurance cover the cost of a kidney transplant?

    We have a financial coordinator who will help you and your family with financial-related questions or concerns regarding your organ transplant coverage.

  • Is a transplant right for chronic kidney disease treatment?

    If you have chronic kidney disease, you have two treatment options: dialysis or kidney transplant. Your nephrologist (kidney doctor) will discuss the risks and benefits of each option to determine if a kidney transplant is the best option.

  • What are the options for patients with end-stage renal disease (kidney failure)?

    People with end-stage renal (kidney) disease (ESRD), commonly called kidney failure, have two treatment options: dialysis or kidney transplantation. The decision to have a kidney transplant is one that you will make along with the advice of your nephrologist (kidney doctor).

  • Why can't I stay on dialysis for the rest of my life?

    While dialysis is a lifesaving treatment, it involves dependence on a hemodialysis machine or on peritoneal dialysis exchanges (machines that clean your blood and replace the function of your kidneys). For many people, the quality of life on these two types of dialysis is unsatisfactory. Kidney transplantation is another lifesaving option that can provide improved life and freedom from dialysis.

  • What are the advantages of kidney transplant?

    A successful kidney transplant allows most patients to feel better and have an improved quality of life. Although medical supervision will continue after the kidney transplant, you will no longer be dependent upon dialysis. There may also be fewer dietary and fluid restrictions.

  • What are the risks of a kidney transplant?

    Transplantation has risks as well as benefits. Your body may reject the organ transplant. You may experience side effects from the medications. There are surgical risks with all surgical procedures. Your physician will discuss the risks and benefits with you.

  • What happens during kidney transplantation?

    Kidney transplantation is a procedure in which a new kidney from another person is placed into your body, taking over the work of your two failed kidneys. The new kidney can do all the work that your failing two kidneys could not. Candidates for kidney transplantation can be put on a waiting list for a healthy kidney, but some may receive a kidney from a living donor who is usually a family member or close friend of the recipient.

  • How can a patient prevent organ rejection?

    A number of very effective medications are available to prevent organ rejection. These medications suppress the immune system, which inhibits rejection of foreign tissue. After a kidney transplant, recipients must take medications daily for the rest of their lives and adhere to all physician instructions as this will greatly reduce the risk of organ rejection.

  • What is life like after receiving a kidney transplant?

    Most patients feel better and enjoy an improved quality of life. You’ll still need medical supervision after your kidney transplant, but you won’t be dependent on dialysis any more. You may also have fewer dietary and fluid restrictions.

  • What happens during transplant surgery?

    Before a kidney from any donor can be used, it is tested to determine whether it matches your tissue type and blood type. This test helps reduce the likelihood that your body will reject the new kidney.

    During transplant surgery, a surgeon will place the healthy donor kidney into your body. The new kidney will do the work that your failing kidneys can no longer perform. Generally, your damaged kidneys will not be removed unless they are causing problems that cannot be treated with medication.

    After placing the donor kidney in your body, the surgeon will connect blood vessels from the donor kidney to arteries and veins in your body. After the ureter—the tube that carries urine to the bladder—from the donor kidney is connected to your ureter, surgeons can allow blood to flow through the new kidney, and it can begin to function. Kidney transplant surgery may take two to four hours.

Register to become an organ donor

By becoming an organ donor, you could save a life. Or more. With more than 120,000 people on organ transplant waiting lists in the United States, organ donation needs are critical.

Visit Donate Life Texas

Patient forms and resources for kidney transplant

Complete the online kidney transplant application and health history forms below.

Dallas and Fort Worth

To schedule an appointment with our kidney transplant team, please call the Dallas transplant center at 214.820.2050 and the Fort Worth transplant center at 817.922.4650.


To schedule an appointment with our kidney transplant team, please call 254.724.8912.