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Kidney Transplant Program


The Kidney Transplant Program is a specific provision under the VA benefits system, which provides eligible veterans with comprehensive care and support for kidney transplant procedures. This program includes services such as pre-transplant evaluations, transplant surgeries, and post-transplant care, essentially covering all aspects of the kidney transplant process. The aim is to ensure that veterans receive the required medical care and support for kidney-related health issues.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Kidney Transplant Program provides Veterans with comprehensive pre-transplant evaluation, kidney transplant surgery, and post-transplant care and support.
  2. Eligible Veterans with end-stage renal disease can receive this transplant service through the VA National Transplant System, which collaborates with regional transplant centers across the US.
  3. VA benefits cover the costs of the kidney transplant surgery, medications, follow-up care, as well as travel and lodging expenses for the Veteran and a caregiver during the transplant process.


The VA benefits term “Kidney Transplant Program” is important because it signifies a crucial service provided by the Department of Veteran Affairs for eligible veterans suffering from kidney failure.

This program offers comprehensive care, including pre-transplant evaluation, transplant surgery, and post-transplant care, helping to improve the quality of life and overall health of veterans in need of a kidney transplant.

By acknowledging the importance of this term, we recognize the commitment of the VA to support veterans through life-saving treatments and necessary medical procedures, while also ensuring that they receive the best possible care and assistance for a successful transplant experience.


The Kidney Transplant Program, provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), aims to support and address the unique needs of eligible veterans diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The purpose of this program is to deliver exceptional care and access to high-quality services for veterans, which includes a comprehensive assessment of their medical condition, proper guidance, and access to transplant services.

By offering such support, the VA ensures that veterans with critical kidney conditions are afforded an opportunity to enhance their quality of life and receive the care they deserve.

To achieve its mission, the Kidney Transplant Program follows a patient-centric approach that involves working closely with both the veterans and their families, offering education, and creating personalized treatment plans tailored to their individual medical requirements.

By collaborating with an extensive network of VA-approved transplant centers across the nation, the program addresses the accessibility challenges that veterans often face when seeking quality healthcare.

As a result, this program not only aims to improve the health outcomes for veterans suffering from ESRD, but also endeavors to provide them with a chance to lead a more fulfilling and healthier life post-transplant.

Examples of Kidney Transplant Program

The VA Benefits Kidney Transplant Program aims to assist eligible U.S. veterans with vital healthcare services related to kidney transplant procedures. Here are three real-world examples of how the program has made a positive impact on veterans’ lives:

In 2016, the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle performed its first kidney transplant for a veteran after integrating the VA’s Kidney Transplant Program into the facility. The veteran, who had been receiving dialysis treatment for 12 hours each week for several years, was able to receive the life-saving kidney transplant that greatly improved his quality of life.

In 2019, a Vietnam veteran in Texas received a kidney transplant at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. The veteran, who was on the transplant waiting list for over two years, finally received a kidney from a living donor through the VA’s Kidney Transplant Program. Thanks to the program, the veteran was able to avoid years of potential dialysis treatment and enjoy an enhanced quality of life.

In 2018, a veteran from Florida received a kidney transplant at the Miami VA Healthcare System after being in kidney failure for more than three years. The surgeons at the facility transplanted a kidney from a deceased donor, ending the patient’s ongoing dialysis treatments. The veteran credited the VA Kidney Transplant Program for providing the vital healthcare services and support needed to receive a successful transplant.

VA Kidney Transplant Program FAQ

What is the VA Kidney Transplant Program?

The VA Kidney Transplant Program provides comprehensive kidney transplant services to eligible veterans in need of a kidney transplant. These services include evaluation, transplantation, and follow-up care.

Who is eligible for the VA Kidney Transplant Program?

Veterans who are enrolled in VA healthcare and meet certain criteria, such as having kidney failure and being a suitable candidate for transplantation, are eligible for the VA Kidney Transplant Program.

How do I apply for the VA Kidney Transplant Program?

To apply for the VA Kidney Transplant Program, you should first consult with your VA healthcare provider. They can help determine if you are a good candidate for a kidney transplant and guide you through the application process, including submitting a referral to a VA transplant center.

What is the cost of a kidney transplant through the VA Kidney Transplant Program?

The cost of a kidney transplant through the VA Kidney Transplant Program is covered for eligible veterans. This includes all transplant-related care, such as evaluation, surgery, follow-up appointments, and immunosuppressive medications. However, there might be some out-of-pocket expenses for the veteran, such as travel costs or co-payments for medications.

Where are VA kidney transplant centers located?

There are several VA kidney transplant centers across the United States. Your VA healthcare provider can help you find the nearest transplant center and determine if a referral is appropriate based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Can I choose my own kidney transplant team and center?

Yes, you can choose your own kidney transplant team and center within the VA network. However, it is essential to discuss your options with your VA healthcare provider to ensure you receive the best care possible. Your provider can help guide you in selecting the most suitable VA kidney transplant center for your needs.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Transplant Eligibility Evaluation
  • Donor Matching Process
  • Pre-transplant Care
  • Post-transplant Support
  • Financial Coverage and Assistance

Sources for More Information