Kidney Transplant

The Vanderbilt Kidney Transplant Program offers innovative treatment options for kidney diseases, including living donor kidney transplantation. Our specialists also perform lifesaving dual-organ transplants for patients with heart-kidney or liver-kidney organ dysfunction.

The Vanderbilt Kidney Transplant Program, one of the oldest and largest programs in the nation, has performed more than 5,100 pediatric and adult transplants. As a leader in transplant care, we provide advanced, compassionate care, so you can return to a full and productive life after your transplant.

Kidney Transplant: Why Choose Vanderbilt

  • Recognized leader: The Vanderbilt Kidney Transplant Program is the largest in Tennessee, performing an average of 200 transplants per year. Our specialists have the expertise and advanced training to perform even the most complex transplant procedures with excellent outcomes. View our kidney transplant outcomes.
  • Living donor kidney transplant: We offer a living donor kidney transplant program to reduce wait times for a healthy kidney. A kidney from a living donor also gives patients a better chance of a longer, healthier life.
  • Paired donor exchange: We offer kidney paired donation for patients who have a living donor with an incompatible blood type or tissue. This allows the incompatible pair to exchange a kidney with another donor/recipient pair on the wait list. This means both recipients receive a healthy kidney and decreased wait times.
  • Blood type compatibility: At Vanderbilt, transplant recipients with blood type B can receive a kidney from a donor with blood types A2/A2B. Vanderbilt is one of a few transplant centers in the country that provides this type of transplantation. This type of transplantation can reduce your wait time for a healthy kidney.
  • Treatment for sensitized patients: If you are considered a sensitized patient, meaning your body has developed harmful antibodies in the blood, our team specializes in desensitization. This treatment decreases the antibody levels in the blood so a transplant can still be performed. This treatment can potentially shorten wait times and decrease the risk of organ rejection.
  • A team approach: Our team of specialists work together to coordinate every aspect of your care, from evaluation through your follow-up care. We collaborate with social workers, infectious disease specialists, transplant psychiatrists and pharmacists to provide you with comprehensive, personalized care.
  • A dedicated inpatient unit: At Vanderbilt, we provide you with a private room, equipped with the latest technology and safety measures. This ensures you and your family receive the highest level of quality care and comfort.
  • Innovative research and clinical trials: Our researchers not only apply the latest research in transplant care, but also pioneer some of the latest innovations. As the only academic medical center in the region, we offer access to clinical trials and technologies investigating new, promising approaches to transplant care.
  • Caring for veterans: Our Kidney Transplant Program at the Nashville VA Medical Center is one of only seven transplant programs designated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide kidney transplantation services for veterans.
  • Pediatric kidney transplants: We know our smallest patients require a dedicated team of specialists as knowledgeable as they are comforting in their approach to pediatric care. That’s why we provide pediatric kidney transplants through the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Our pediatric program offers your child the most advanced, compassionate care throughout the transplant process.
  • Support services: Our transplant center offers a variety of support services, from social workers to transplant pharmacists, to help you understand and navigate the transplant process. We also offer a unique Return-to-Work program to help you resume employment and restore your emotional and financial well-being. View our support services.

Conditions We Treat

Common conditions that can lead to end-stage kidney failure include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Inflammatory disease of the nephrons and glomeruli
  • Inherited kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Side effects of drug therapy (for other diseases)

Treatments We Offer

At Vanderbilt, we offer a wide range of services to provide excellent surgical outcomes and the highest quality care, including:

  • Dual-organ transplants: A dual-organ transplant is a surgical procedure to remove two diseased organs. The diseased organs are replaced with healthy ones from an organ donor. Our team of specialists provide complex heart-kidney and liver-kidney transplants.
  • Kidney transplant: A kidney transplant requires surgery to replace your diseased kidney with a healthy one from a donor. The kidney may come from a deceased organ donor or from a living donor. Learn more about living kidney donation.
  • Kidney-pancreas transplant: If your type 1 diabetes is causing kidney failure, a simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant may be recommended to remove the diseased organs. The kidney transplant can also be performed before or after the pancreas transplant. Both organs may come from one deceased donor. Or, you may receive a kidney from a living donor and the pancreas from a deceased donor. 

Patient Stories

James George had not one, but two transplants at Vanderbilt. He received a new liver and then about a decade later, a kidney. Now 67, he’s working on his Master’s degree and living a full life again without dialysis. See his story. 


At 71, Rex Parton had a heart-kidney transplant, proving that ‘age is not an absolute.’ Read Rex’s story.

This kidney transplant highlights the strong bond between police officers. Eric Crowder, part of the LaVergne, Tenn., police department,  donated a kidney to Sgt. Burrel "Chip" Davis. Read their story

Andrea Pierson's living donation started a chain of giving. Read what that meant to Andrea. 

Heather Winfree donated a kidney to her husband, Steve. "It was the best thing I had ever done," she said. Read the Winfrees' story here

Khris Downing's kidney transplant was a bittersweet family affair. Read his story here

Patient Resources

The following information can help you understand what to expect before, during and after your transplant surgery.

Understanding Live Kidney Donation
A guide for donors and their families

Your Kidney or Kidney-Pancreas Transplant
A guide for transplant recipients and their families 


Vanderbilt Kidney Transplant Jackson
620 Skyline Drive
Jackson, TN 38301
(615) 936-0695
Map and Directions

Vanderbilt Kidney-Pancreas Transplant
The Vanderbilt Clinic
1301 Medical Center Drive, Suite 2501A
Nashville, TN 37232
(615) 936-0695
Map and Directions

Madison, AL
Vanderbilt Kidney-Pancreas Transplant Madison, AL
Madison Medical Park Professional Building
8371 Hwy 72, Suite 204
Madison, AL 35758
(615) 936-0695
Map and Directions

For Referring Physicians

If you have a patient who needs to be assessed for a kidney transplant, we have the expertise, resources and support that are essential for a successful transplant. To arrange a consultation or make a referral, complete our online referral form or contact our kidney transplant team at (615) 936-0695.

Referring physicians can also complete our kidney transplant referral form and fax it to our transplant team at (615) 936-0697.