Adult Kidney Transplantation at Penn State Health

At Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center our team of medical and surgical providers are here to address all of your kidney care needs. Since our first deceased donor adult kidney transplant in 1983, we have performed over 2,000 kidney transplants, giving recipients a second chance at life. We perform both living and deceased donor transplants. We offer medical management for advanced kidney diseases and end-stage renal disease. In addition to their transplant expertise, our highly skilled transplant surgeons are equipped to perform peritoneal dialysis catheter placement and hernia repairs when necessary. Penn State Health’s multidisciplinary team provides the comprehensive, personal care and support you need, all conveniently located in one place.

Learn more about the transplant process


A patient’s primary nephrologist or dialysis unit staff can complete a kidney transplant referral form and fax it to 717-531-3717, submit an electronic referral online at TxAccess or contact our Transplant Office. Patients may also self-refer by contacting the Transplant Office at 717-531-6092. If you self-refer, office staff will ask for medical, insurance and demographic information to assist our team in determining if you can be scheduled for a transplant evaluation appointment.

View information on our program's adult kidney transplant selection criteria.

Evaluation and Testing

To begin the transplant evaluation, you will be required to attend an education session that explains the transplant process, from evaluation to post-transplant care. Following this session, you will meet with each member of our multidisciplinary transplant team for a thorough medical, social, and financial evaluation. 

Required testing may be different for each patient. On the day of your transplant evaluation, your transplant coordinator will give you a list of testing that is needed to complete your evaluation.

Transplant Wait Time

Once your transplant evaluation and testing are complete, our transplant selection committee will determine if you are suitable for the national transplant list, which is operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS considers blood type, distance from the donor hospital, time on the list and immune system markers when matching deceased donors to recipients. At this time, the wait time for deceased donor transplant is approximately three to five years. 

Living donor transplant is recommended for all patients because it provides recipients with a higher-quality kidney in a shorter period of time.

While waiting for transplant, you’ll have annual visits with the transplant team to ensure you continue to be a good candidate for kidney transplantation. 


Kidney transplant surgery takes approximately three to four hours. Following surgery, the average hospital stay is five to seven days, but may vary based on your condition. Transplant team members will provide additional information about medications, post-transplant care, and follow-up appointments to you and your support person(s).

Post-Transplant Care

An organ transplant is a precious gift, and caring for it is a lifelong commitment. After discharge from the hospital, you will return to our post-transplant clinic regularly for follow-up care. The first six weeks after transplant, patients are seen on a weekly basis. Clinic visits and blood draws become less frequent over time. Our transplant team follows every patient for the lifetime of the organ transplant. 

For more information on kidney transplant, see our Kidney Transplant Patient Guide.

Our Outcomes

For information regarding our transplant center’s outcomes please visit the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) website.