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Methodist Healthcare

Transplant services

When an organ is compromised by trauma or begins to fail, a transplant may be the most suitable treatment. Transplants involve removing a healthy organ or tissue from a donor to replace a diseased organ, blood or bone marrow in a recipient.

Comprehensive organ transplant program in San Antonio

When you or a loved one needs the gift of life, you can trust the experts at Methodist Healthcare to be there for you throughout your organ transplant journey.

As the first organization in the U.S. to establish a comprehensive transplant program with both adult solid organ and adult and pediatric stem cell transplant programs, Methodist Healthcare has grown to become a leader in transplant services and a top choice for patients from across the nation and the world. Our skilled physicians, nurses, administrators and coordinators have worked with over 5,000 transplant recipients and use cutting-edge research and technology to provide our patients with the level of quality, service and care they deserve.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Transplant services we offer

Our specialists ensure we can address your condition with a crucial transplant, should an organ be available.

The transplant process is detailed and thorough to ensure your care team receives all of the necessary information about your health, current condition and personal situation. Once approved for a transplant, our team will work together to continually monitor your health throughout the process — from evaluation through post-transplant recovery. The majority of our specialized transplant services are performed at the Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant and Methodist Hospital. We also offer evaluations and postoperative checkups at satellite clinics throughout Texas for your convenience.

Hepatobiliary surgery

Hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery, more commonly known as hepatobiliary surgery is a surgical subspecialty focused on treating cancer and diseases of the liver, pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder. It involves the removal of primary and metastatic tumors in these organs. It also encompasses the treatment of benign diseases such as cysts, bile duct injuries, gallstones and portal hypertension.

At Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant, our team of highly trained health professionals are known for their expertise, offering personalized surgical services for liver, pancreas and biliary cancers. Our physicians diagnose, treat and provide care for people with biliary disorders, including malignancy of their liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and transplant services.

Heart transplant

With the largest heart transplant program in Central and South Texas, our team has performed more than 500 transplants and implanted over 200 assist devices since our program was founded in 1986. Our Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Program, located within Methodist Plaza, not only provides heart transplants to patients with heart failure, but offers education and support services to ensure a healthy life after heart transplant surgery. We offer cardiac rehabilitation services to provide patients with the proper tools to maintain a healthy diet and build an exercise plan.

Kidney transplant

Our Kidney Transplant Clinic offers the most comprehensive in Texas. In addition to traditional deceased kidney donor transplantation, we provide more options so you can receive life-saving transplants even faster. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Methodist Hospital and Transplant is the nation's leading living kidney donor program, which further illustrates our commitment to delivering high-quality care to our patients. Our expansive living kidney donor program allows you to receive a kidney from a living donor with two healthy kidneys, so you don’t have to wait for extended periods for a deceased donor kidney to become available. We also have a specialized team solely dedicated to kidney-paired donor exchange, designed to match up a donor/recipient pair with another pair that could be a compatible match for each other.

Methodist Healthcare’s commitment to excellence has earned us a wealth of recognition in the field. We are a preferred provider of kidney transplant services because:

  • We save more lives than any kidney transplant program in Texas.
  • We add more patients to the transplant waiting list any other program in the U.S.
  • We perform more living donor kidney transplants than any other program in the U.S.
  • We perform more deceased donor kidney transplants than any other program in Texas.
Kidney transplant patient referral form 

Liver transplant

We support patients with end-stage liver disease and liver failure through our Liver Failure Clinic. Our liver disease transplant program is one of the top programs in the country for transplantation, hepatology and liver disease care. Since 2001, our expert surgeons have performed over 700 transplants. On a percentage basis, we have transplanted more medically urgent patients than any other transplant facility in Texas. Our program is led by a group of physicians with more than 60 years of combined expertise in all aspects of liver disease management, transplant services and procedures. We offer comprehensive treatment programs, educational sessions and more to patients and their families as they navigate the transplant journey.

Liver transplant patient referral form 

Lung transplant

For patients who meet certain criteria, lung transplantation can potentially extend and improve their quality of your life. The Methodist Hospital Lung Transplant Program is designed to provide each patient with a personalized approach to his or her treatment plan. Our multidisciplinary transplant team comprised of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, dietitians and physical therapists supports our patients through every step of their lung transplant journey.

Lung conditions we treat

Lung transplantation can be considered when a patient with advanced lung disease has failed other medical or surgical therapies. Advanced lung-related diseases treated by lung transplant include:

  • Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
  • Congenital heart disease with Eisenmenger syndrome
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM)
  • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Severe bronchiectasis

Lung transplant candidacy

Patients with serious lung diseases who meet certain criteria may be a candidate to receive a lung transplant. Lung transplantation can be considered when a patient with advanced lung disease has failed other medical or surgical therapies.

You may be considered for a lung transplant if:

  • You have severe and progressive lung disease that is no longer responding to the most complete and effective treatment.
  • You have a disease or condition for which transplant is considered to be effective.
  • You are willing to accept the risks of surgery and the subsequent lifelong medical treatment.
  • You are physically and emotionally capable of undergoing surgery and subsequent medical treatment.
  • You are not using tobacco or any form of nicotine and not abusing alcohol or drugs.
  • You have a reliable social support system.

Our transplant team evaluates each patient to determine whether a lung transplant may be beneficial. A comprehensive evaluation will include lung function tests, blood tests, imaging scans and other indicated studies. Specialists will screen for other serious conditions, including chronic infections, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Finding a lung donor

Once it is determined that you are a transplant candidate and insurance approval is received, you will be placed on the national waiting list for a lung transplant. The national transplant waitlist is managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The duration of time you are on the waitlist will vary based on your blood type, height, how bad your lung disease is, etc. There is no way to know how long you will wait for a transplantation.

Lung transplant surgery

Based on your lung disease, your overall health, and availability of donor lungs, the transplant team may decide to replace one or both of your lungs. Rarely are the lungs and the heart are replaced at the same time. This is considered when the lung disease affects both the heart and lungs and both are irreversibly damaged.

Recovering from lung transplant surgery

Immediately after the surgery, you will be sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) to recover. You will be monitored very closely in the ICU. You will remain in the ICU until you are ready to move to a regular hospital room. On average, the hospital stay for a lung transplant is about two to four weeks. You may require a transfer to a rehabilitation facility before you go home.

A transplant coordinator will provide post-transplant education for you and your caregivers before you leave the hospital. You will also meet with the transplant pharmacist who will explain all your transplant medications. You will receive your medications before you are discharged.

After discharge, you and your primary caregiver will be required to remain in San Antonio for a minimum of three months after your transplant. You will be seen in the lung transplant clinic on a regular basis, and be required to complete outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation. During clinic visits, you will undergo regular testing to monitor your condition as well as be seen by a transplant pulmonologist. The normal patient schedule to be seen is:

  • Every week up to three months after transplant
  • Every month from three months to one year after transplant
  • Every 3 months after the first year after transplant

Benefits and risks of lung transplantation

Lung transplantation has the potential to extend your life and improve the quality of your life. However, it is not possible to predict how long you will live after a lung transplant. Each lung transplant center has survival statistics for its transplant programs. For transplant programs in the United States, these statistics are collected by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and are publicly available.

Pancreas transplant

With more than 100 transplants performed, we have the most preferred transplant and combination kidney-pancreas transplant programs in Texas. Our dedicated team of clinical research and transplant services experts provides patients access to the newest developments in transplant medications and disease management. Patients in our pancreas transplant program are cared for by the same team that serves our kidney transplant program.

Transplant programs across South Texas

Our specialized transplant services are primarily carried out at Methodist Hospital Specialty and Transplant. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), this facility is the nation's number one living kidney donor program, further illustrating our commitment to high-quality transplant care.

We also have satellite clinics throughout the Greater San Antonio area for if you do not live locally. Our satellite clinics are open either on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, and are where you can receive your initial transplant evaluation.

Additionally, if you have received a transplant and are one-year into recovery and in good health, you may have the option to receive follow-up care at a satellite clinic, instead of commuting to San Antonio. Our satellite clinic locations include:

Organ donation

Every year, hundreds of lives are saved across the country because of organ transplantation, and many of them right in our backyard. This wouldn't be possible without the selfless sacrifices of individuals willing to share the gift of life. The transplant team at Methodist Healthcare has developed multiple leading transplant programs for recipients in need of kidney, liver, pancreas, heart and even lung transplants. Our nationally recognized transplant programs are only possible because of the countless individuals who choose to donate life by becoming an organ donor. When ordinary people are empowered to do extraordinary things – you give the gift of life. Be the reason behind someone’s tomorrow; become an organ donor.

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Methodist Transplant Institute in San Antonio, TX

The Methodist Transplant Institute at Methodist Hospital | Specialty and Transplant in San Antonio is the #1 Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program in the nation and we are leaders in patient outcomes. Your choice matters.

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