AUSTIN, Texas — More than 72,000 Texans are living with end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure. For many, getting a transplant is their best chance at a better life. Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, have launched a new kidney transplant program designed to ensure Central Texans have the benefit of superior care close to home. The Adult Abdominal Transplant Center, a program of Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, diagnoses, treats and manages the care of adult patients in need of a kidney and those willing to be a living kidney donor.
The average wait time for a donor kidney is about three to five years and even longer in some areas of the country, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Several factors affect how long a patient waits, and many find themselves traveling outside their communities to obtain excellent care. The Adult Abdominal Transplant Center meets patients living with end-stage renal disease where they are – making health care more accessible.
“As a partnership between Ascension Seton, Dell Seton Medical Center and UT Health Austin, the kidney transplant program leverages the strengths and resources of our clinical leaders and community physicians,” said Dr. Nicole Turgeon, transplant director for the Adult Abdominal Transplant Center and professor in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care at Dell Med. “We aim to be recognized as one of the premier solid organ transplant centers in the country. But most importantly, this program is a hopeful resource for patients with complex transplant cases,” she said.
“The transplant program will offer advanced care for kidney failure patients using innovative treatments and state-of-the-art technology. Our collaborative team of renowned surgeons, specialists and staff will provide excellent care for the Central Texas community,” said Timothy Brierty, regional hospital president at Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas.
Kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease, occurs when kidneys can no longer function at a level needed for daily life. Once this occurs, the work of the kidneys – filtering the blood to remove waste and excess water – can be done by dialysis, or the kidneys may be replaced through transplantation. The advantage of transplantation over dialysis is that patients can return to a more normal lifestyle.
Organ transplant is not only a major surgery, but also an extensive process involving regular testing and ongoing communication between patient and medical team as candidates await donor organs. This new program brings care closer to home so they can better reach all the milestones required before and after surgery, and they receive valuable education and support.