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Rochelle's Story: The Gift of a Kidney

Everything Rochelle knows about giving she learned from her father. When she found out she could save his life by giving him one of her kidneys, it was an easy decision.

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David and Rochelle O'Herrick, living donor kidney transplant recipient and donor

New Patient Evaluations Now Through Telemedicine

At the Penn Transplant Institute, we remain committed to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are offering telemedicine visits for new patient appointments by phone or computer, in the comfort of your own home. Telemedicine visits make it easier for you to access the care you need while also following social distancing guidelines. In-person appointments will be scheduled as appropriate, and patients will be seen in a COVID-free environment.

If you are a current transplant patient, please continue to reach out to your care team if you need assistance. 

For new transplant evaluations, please call: 215-316-5145 

Or fill out our online form: Request a Callback

According to the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), more than 100,000 people across the United States are listed for a kidney transplant. In the greater Philadelphia region, approximately 4,900 people are waiting for a kidney to become available. As a result of a shortage of organs for transplantation, living donor programs have been created to allow for individuals to donate an organ to someone in need of a transplant.

Live donation occurs when a living person donates an organ to someone in need of a transplant. With the waiting time for a deceased donor kidney transplant in our area averaging at least three to five years, live donor kidney transplant is an important way to increase the number of people receiving kidney transplants.

The Penn Transplant Institute has one of the largest and most experienced living donor transplant programs in the country. In addition to live donor transplant, Penn also offers a paired kidney exchange program. This program is an option for kidney recipient and donor pairs who are not blood and/or tissue-type compatible.

The Benefits of Living Donation

  • Avoidance of dialysis time for the recipient: Live donor kidney transplantation provides the recipient the opportunity to undergo transplant surgery before the challenging routine of dialysis begins. This is known as pre-emptive transplant. Research has shown that less time on dialysis means an increased survival rate of the transplanted kidney.
  • Improved long-term survival: Kidneys from a living donor usually last longer than those from a deceased donor. 
  • Optimized time of surgery: We can schedule the surgery to ensure the best condition of the recipient and a convenient time for the donor. 
  • A faster recovery: Getting a kidney from a live donor eliminates much of the time between procurement of the kidney (when the kidney is outside the body) and transplantation. Reducing the time the kidney is outside the body increases the quality of the organ and decreases the time it takes for the kidney to function properly.
  • Reduced risk of rejection: On average, there is a reduced risk of rejection with a living donor kidney, especially if a blood relative donates the kidney.

In This Section

Treatments and Procedures

Learn about the treatments and procedures associated with a living donor kidney transplant at Penn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Penn answers the most frequently asked questions about living donor kidney transplant.

Patient Stories

Watch videos of patient testimonials and hear about their personal experience at the Penn Transplant Institute.

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