UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

General Information    

Our Commitment

A strong, on-going commitment is required of the person who receives a transplant and from his or her family and close friends. Many aspects of life are affected by transplant, including housing, relationships, income and employment. The Transplant Center is committed to supporting patients and their families as they move through all phases of the transplant process.

General Questions

How does a kidney transplant compare to dialysis treatment?
A kidney transplant is one treatment option for patients with kidney failure. Kidney transplant is intended to improve the quality of life for patients who have been diagnosed with end stage renal disease. After transplant, many patients are able to lead a more normal life - returning to work, increasing physical activity and becoming "free" of the restrictions of renal disease (time, diet and fluid). Additionally, research has shown that those patients who receive a kidney transplant have a longer life expectancy than those who remain on dialysis.

How successful are transplants?
A kidney transplant from a living donor has a success rate of approximately 95 percent and is likely to function for 12-20 years.

A kidney transplant from a deceased donor has a success rate of approximately 85-90 percent and is likely to last 8-12 years.

Patients and families living outside the Greater Des Moines area
At any stage during the transplant process, out-of-town patients and their families may need to temporarily stay in Des Moines to be close to the Transplant Center and to keep in touch with the transplant team.

The Transplant Center has dedicated staff members who will assist patients and families in finding affordable lodging. In addition, counseling is available to help with managing the transplant process.

Financial and insurance information
Many insurance companies do cover organ transplantation. Each transplant candidate needs to work closely with our staff and their insurance to determine health insurance benefits. Our financial counselor meets with each patient and family to help resolve these complicated financial and insurance issues.

Additional information
Watch the American Society of Transplant Surgeons' Kidney Transplantation: A Guide for Patients and their Families video.