We offer a comprehensive, one-day evaluation. You’ll be seen by all the necessary specialists -- a nephrologist, transplant surgeon, dietitian, social worker, financial counselor, and possibly a psychologist -- during one visit, at one clinic location. We conduct these evaluations three times a week and often have appointments available within a few weeks. You’ll get from a referral by your doctor to a decision by our team faster than any other center in the state.
If you need kidney transplant surgery, you can feel confident choosing Duke for your care. Our team has performed thousands of complex kidney transplants that have improved the quality of life for our patients and their loved ones.
Why Choose Duke
We’re Good (Organ) Matchmakers
We get to know you, your medical conditions, and what kind of kidney transplant you need, and we stay up-to-date on your status. When we get offers for available kidneys, we use a systematic approach to consider each one carefully, to ensure it is the offer that will fit your needs the best. During the process, we make every effort to find you a kidney, and we make sure you’re ready when the right one becomes available.
We Allow Multiple Listings to Reduce Wait Time
Adding your name to the waitlist at more than one transplant center – called multiple listing -- may increase your chances of finding a matched donor kidney sooner. Multiple listing does not affect your wait time at your current center. If you want to designate Duke as your “home” transplant center and are receiving your care elsewhere, you can transfer the time you have accrued at that center to Duke. Our team can often use previous test results and other medical information from your current center to speed up the evaluation process.
We Have Extensive Experience
The Duke kidney transplant program has been performing kidney transplants for more than 50 years. It is one of the highest volume programs in North Carolina.
We Achieve Excellent Results
Our outcomes are consistently excellent -- a notable accomplishment considering that we often perform transplants for people who have multiple, complex medical problems.
Kidney transplant surgery is performed at Duke University Hospital. Pre- and post-transplant appointments take place at our nephrology clinics in Durham.
You Have Options if You and Your Donor Don't Match
If a loved one offers to donate a kidney and it’s medically safe for that person to do so, there are multiple routes for you to take. The simplest is for you to receive your donor’s kidney if blood and tissue tests show that you’re a match. If you and your donor aren’t a match, you may be eligible for another option such as:
- ABO-incompatible transplantation: You receive medical treatments before and after transplant that allows you to receive a kidney from a donor with a different blood type.
- Paired exchange: You receive a kidney from someone else’s donor, and another recipient receives your donor’s kidney.
We Prepare You for Transplant Quickly
If you are considered a candidate for a kidney transplant but do not have a potential living donor, you will be waitlisted in a national database maintained and administered by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS). While our wait times are on par with national averages, we prepare you to be transplanted quickly. We have one of the largest active waiting lists in the region, meaning more of our patients are ready to get a kidney when a kidney is offered.
You'll Stay in a Dedicated Hospital Unit for Transplant Patients
Our solid organ transplant unit is dedicated to caring for people throughout their organ transplant journey, whether they are waiting for a transplant, recovering from surgery, or are returning to the hospital. The unit is staffed by a dedicated team of providers experienced in caring for people undergoing liver, kidney, small bowel, pancreas, or intestinal transplants. These include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, patient coordinators, and more. Patients and their families can establish relationships with our providers and staff and feel secure in the hospital environment.
If you are interested in making an appointment for an evaluation, please ask your nephrologist to submit a referral.
HIV-Positive Kidney Transplants
The HOPE Act made it possible for HIV-positive donors to offer their organs to HIV-positive recipients. Duke is the only transplant center in North Carolina, and one of just a few in the nation currently approved to perform HOPE Act living donor kidney transplants. In 2019, our kidney transplant surgeons performed the first live kidney donation under the HOPE Act in North Carolina and the Southeast region, and the second in the United States.
Options if You've Had a Prior Transplant
If you’ve had a prior transplant, we offer multiple anti-rejection regimens. These options can make it more likely you’ll find a match among potential living donors and more likely we can waitlist you for a deceased donor transplant. If your immune system is highly sensitized, our innovative, newly available approaches are proving better at overcoming this problem.
We Perform Multi-Organ Transplants
Our colleagues in the other Duke organ transplant teams share our commitment to providing you the life-changing transplant you need with the best possible outcome. We regularly partner with them to help you and your caregivers throughout each step of the process.
Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why we are once again recognized as the best hospital in North Carolina, and nationally ranked in 11 adult and 9 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report for 2023–2024.