Skip to Content

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.

Transplant services in Denver

We know it's overwhelming if you need an organ transplant, and we're here to help.

At Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center, our expert team of transplant surgeons meets with you one-on-one to give you a personalized experience. They provide you with comprehensive, compassionate care through the entire transplant process.

Expert advice, available 24/7

Free medical advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Free medical advice is just a phone call away. Our nurses help you understand your symptoms, treatment options and procedures. They will also help you find a provider or specialist and schedule an appointment.

Related specialties

Learn more about our related specialties.

Services our transplant program provides

Organ transplants take healthy, functioning organs from one individual and transplant them into the body of someone who needs it.

Organ transplants we offer

Our doctors specialize in both kidney and liver transplants. We offer several methods of organ donations to increase the likelihood that you will have timely access to the organ that you need. These methods include:

  • Deceased donor transplants
  • Living donor transplants
  • Altruistic donor transplants

Pancreas transplant care

Our transplant nephrologists assume medical follow-up care of pancreas transplant recipients that have received a transplant at a different hospital. We also evaluate those who would be candidates for a simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant.

What to expect with transplant surgery

If a donor is found, you can expect a call from our transplant team as quickly as possible. The entire surgical procedure depends on what type of transplant is being performed, but typically lasts approximately three to four hours. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia.

Postoperative care

Immediately after surgery, you will be taken to the intensive care unit (ICU), for usually 24 hours of observation. You will then be transitioned to a designated transplant floor for the duration of your hospitalization, which usually lasts four to five days.

Outpatient follow-up care

Once discharged from the hospital, you will be followed very closely in our transplant center. The duration and frequency of visits change over time as organ function stabilizes and rejection and infection risks decrease.

Post-transplant medications

Anti-rejection medications (also called immunosuppression medications) protect the transplanted organ by reducing your immune system's ability to trigger a response to your new organ. There are several anti-rejection medications available, and each works in a different way to suppress the body’s immune response.

Our transplant team will determine which combination of medications is right for you, and we may alter a medication regimen after the transplant to prevent rejection or reduce side effects.

Transplant support groups

Your social network of friends and family is critical to the success of your transplant. We invite you to participate in a monthly support group, at no cost to you or your family. We will provide resources and education needed to navigate through the transplant process. You are encouraged to visit the support group to meet other patients and to learn first-hand about the experiences of others.

Additional transplant information

Read on to learn additional information about what makes our transplant program unique, as well as what you may need to make your procedure possible.

Financial costs

An organ donor’s medical expenses, including evaluation, surgery, hospitalization and after-care, are usually covered by the organ recipient's insurance. It is against federal law for anyone to pay directly for living organs, but it is acceptable for a recipient to cover expenses for any travel, lodging or lost wages resulting from the donation.

Research trials

We pride ourselves on maintaining an active research division. Clinical investigations are constantly evaluating current protocols for kidney transplants that may prolong survival rates, decrease rejection episodes or decrease the side effects of anti-rejection drugs.

There may be a research protocol or study that would benefit you. If possible, the research team will give you detailed information about the study. However, enrolling in a research study is voluntary.

Steroid-free protocols

Studies have shown that steroid use has side effects, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and weight gain. However, medical breakthroughs have made it possible to avoid steroids while still minimizing the chance of organ rejection. Approximately 80 percent of those in our program are steroid-free.

Types of organ transplant donors

When seeking a liver transplant or a kidney transplant, you may need a donation because yours is no longer properly functioning, or it cannot be repaired or saved by medications or surgeries. After an evaluation to determine both the severity of your current organ failure and your eligibility for a transplant, you will be placed on a waiting list while we search for a donor that matches your unique criteria.

Deceased donor transplant

Donation of a deceased loved one's healthy organs gives you the opportunity to continue living the long and full life you deserve. Many of our transplant donations are made by the families of deceased individuals who believe in giving back.

If receiving an organ from a living donor is not preferred or possible, you will be placed on the waiting list for a deceased donor. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is responsible for the allocation of all deceased donor donations. UNOS uses a set of criteria, including waiting time and tissue compatibility, to match the organ to the recipient.

Living donor transplant

Receiving a living donor organ transplant is preferable to a deceased donor transplant. This is because living donor organs function longer in the body and ensure more positive outcomes. Living donor transplants are usually possible with organs such as the kidney, where a person can offer to donate one of their own organs. Sometimes, partial donations from living donors are also possible.

Altruistic donation (non-directed donor)

An altruistic donation is when a person volunteers to donate an organ to an unknown recipient. A non-directed altruistic donor can either donate into the paired donation program to create a "chain" of transplants, or donate anonymously to a single patient on the national transplant waitlist.

Living Donor Champion (LDC) program
Finding a living donor can be a difficult task, and it can also be uncomfortable to discuss donation with others. Through our LDC program, you have the opportunity to identify a friend or family member to become your personal LDC. We will provide education and training to your LDC so they can tell your story to others and help identify a living donor for you.


If you have a Living Donor Champion, please call us at (720) 754-2155 for more information.

Our Transplant services Locations

Currently Viewing:

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center
1719 E 19th Ave
Denver, CO 80218
 (720) 754 - 6000

Currently Viewing:

Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center
1719 E 19th Ave
Denver, CO 80218
 (720) 754 - 6000
P/SL Transplant Center
1601 East 19th Ave
Suite 5050
Denver, CO 80218
 (720) 754-2155

0.0 miles

Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
2001 N. High St
Denver, CO 80205
 (720) 754 - 1000

0.1 miles