Out of Town Patients
Out-of-Town Patients' Frequently Asked Questions
Not only do patients from all over of the country come here for transplantation, we've cared for patients from all around the globe. We are committed to ensuring that our transplant donors, recipients and their families are as comfortable as possible and have a positive experience. One of the things that distinguishes our transplant program from those at other academic hospitals is our flexibility and willingness to accommodate your individual needs. Our team within Concierge Services can help with planning visits and answering questions during your stay in Baltimore. Inquire about discounted hotel rates for transplant patients.
If you live outside of Maryland and are in need of a liver transplant, consider participating in the Liver Transplant Program’s E-Visit Option. This gives you the opportunity to have an expert consultation with one of our liver transplant surgeons from the comfort of your home with the use of innovative technology.
Below are answers to some questions many out-of-town and international patients ask our transplant staff. Click on a question below for an answer to a specific question, or scroll down to view the complete list of questions and answers. If you have any other questions, contact the University of Maryland Transplant Program Office by calling 410-328-5408 or Concierge Services.
Q. Will I have to travel to the Medical Center for all the blood work and tests I'll need before surgery?
A. No. Most out-of-town donors and recipients won't have to come to the Medical Center for the required pre-surgical tests. Your primary care physician or a specialist in your area can conduct most of the physical examinations and blood work you'll need, and send the results to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It will, however, be necessary for the transplant team to do a few, final tests at the Medical Center a couple of days prior to your surgery. Ultimately, your insurance company may dictate that you be evaluated at the Medical Center, which could mean a trip to Baltimore before the time of your surgery.
Q. How long will I be in the hospital?
A. After being admitted to the hospital on the morning of your surgery, you should expect to stay between three to 14 days if you're getting an organ, and between two to seven days if you're donating an organ. Lengths of stay, however, are determined by several factors, including how well the transplanted organ functions following surgery, the recipient's overall health and the kind of organ transplanted.
Q. When do I need to arrive at the Medical Center, and how long should I plan to stay in Baltimore after being discharged from the hospital?
A. Most out-of-town donors and recipients come to the Medical Center a few days before their surgeries for final, pre-admission tests. This provides the transplant team the opportunity to complete any additional testing and do the necessary pre-operative blood work. Both donors and recipients should also plan to stay in Baltimore for a 1-2 weeks after being discharged so they can meet with their physicians for their initial follow-up appointment.
Q. Once I go home, will I need to return to the Medical Center for follow-up visits?
A. No. For the first four to six weeks following the transplant, you will need to be seen by a physician weekly for help in monitoring your condition and adjusting the doses of your medication. If you live too far away to visit the Medical Center's outpatient clinic, you may arrange to visit your hometown physician. After the first four to six weeks, you will still need to visit your physician periodically. How often will depend on you how well you are doing.
Q. Where will my family members stay while I am in the hospital? What about transportation?
A. The University of Maryland's Transplant Guest Services Coordinator will be able to help you with your personal arrangements. His/her job is to guide the recipients of living organs and their donors through every step of their experience at the University of Maryland Medical Center. From securing hotel accommodations and transportation to providing for special meals and clergy visits, the coordinator will see to it that you and your family members are as comfortable as possible. The Transplant Guest Services Coordinator can be reached by pager at 410-328-2337 #9543 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. For assistance after hours, please call 410-328-1500. Patients receiving cadaveric organs should contact a transplant coordinator at 410-328-5408 for assistance with their personal arrangements.
Q. How will I be able to afford the procedure, and pay for all of the travel and hotel expenses?
A. Generally, the recipient's insurance covers the cost of all medical care for both living donor (liver and kidney) and recipient, including pre-transplantation evaluations, hospitalization and follow-up care for at least a year after the surgery. Travel expenses and lodging, however, are not always covered by insurance plans. The Center can also recommend a travel agent to find patients the least expensive travel packages. Financial coordinators are available to assist with all of the financial components of transplantation. They can be reached during regular business hours at the Transplant Office at 410-328-5408.
Q. Are there any hotels near the University of Maryland Medical Center?
A. Here's a list of hotels located close to the University of Maryland Medical Center (click on any hotel for more information):
Q. How far away is the Medical Center from Baltimore Washington International Airport?
A. Downtown Baltimore, where the University of Maryland Medical Center is located, is only about eight miles from the Baltimore Washington International Airport. It should only take you 15 minutes to get from the airport to the hospital in non-rush hour traffic. Check out this link for directions on getting to the transplant center.