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Transplant Center

Transplant Center

The Transplant Center at Westchester Medical Center offers innovative, state-of-the art evaluation and treatment for patients of all ages who require kidney, liver, heart, corneal and bone marrow transplants. WMC is home to a highly robust Kidney Transplant Program, the fifth largest Pediatric Corneal Transplant Program in the nation and New York State's second busiest Bone Marrow Transplant program.

Learn More About Our Services:

Meet Dr. Thomas Diflo
Chief of Intra-Abdominal Organ Transplant



Organ Transplant FAQs

Organ Donor FAQs

How does the transplant system work?
Under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Services & Resources Administration (HRSA), the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) maintains a centralized computer network linking all organ procurement organizations and transplant centers. This computer network is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with organ placement specialists in the UNOS Organ Center always available to answer questions.

After being referred by a doctor, a transplant center evaluates the patient. The transplant center runs a number of tests and considers the patient's mental and physical health, as well as his or her social support system. If the center determines that the patient is a transplant candidate, they will add the patient's medical profile to the national patient waiting list for organ transplant. The patient is not placed on a ranked list at that time. Rather, the patient's name is added to the "pool" of patients waiting.

When a deceased organ donor is identified, a transplant coordinator from an organ procurement organization accesses the UNOS computer. Each patient in the "pool" is matched by the computer against the donor characteristics. The computer then generates a ranked list of patients for each organ that is procured from that donor in ranked order according to organ allocation policies. Factors affecting ranking may include tissue match, blood type, length of time on the waiting list, immune status and the distance between the potential recipient and the donor. For heart, liver, and intestines, the potential recipient's degree of medical urgency is also considered. Therefore, the computer generates a differently ranked list of patients for each donor organ matched.

The organ is offered to the transplant team of the first person on the list. Often, the top patient will not get the organ for one of several reasons. When a patient is selected, he or she must be available, healthy enough to undergo major surgery, and willing to be transplanted immediately. Also, a laboratory test to measure compatibility between the donor and recipient may be necessary. For example, patients with high antibody levels often prove incompatible to the donor organ and cannot receive the organ because the patient's immune system would reject it.

Once a patient is selected and contacted and all testing is complete, surgery is scheduled and the transplant takes place.

You can also find more information about organ donation on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site for Organ Donation at www.organdonor.gov.

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May I contact my organ donor's family?
Many transplant recipients have asked about writing to their donor's family. Research by the National Donor Family Council has shown that most donor families want to hear from the recipients of their loved ones' organs. You may send a letter or card to the donor family. Bring this letter to your transplant coordinator. Your coordinator will forward the letter on to the appropriate Organ Procurement Organization.

Attach a separate note stating your name, type of transplant and date. Do not state your name or hometown in the message.  You may call the Organ Donor Network at 1(800)GIFT-4-NY with questions regarding donation.

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Should I call my doctor if I catch a cold after surgery?
Should you experience cold symptoms such as cough, sore throat, or nasal discharge, see your doctor. It may be difficult to tell if you have a cold or a more serious infection requiring antibiotics. You may need a chest x-ray, throat cultures, or other tests to determine treatment. Remember to inform your coordinator of any new prescriptions.

  • Keep track of your temperature, and remember to call your coordinator if it goes to 101° F (38.5° C) or is 100° F (37.80 C) for 24 hours.
  • Check with your coordinator before taking any over-the-counter cold medications. Many over-the-counter cold medications contain pseudoephedrine which can interact with Prograf/Neoral/Gengraf.

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Is it true that if I am an organ donor, doctors won't work as hard to save me in an emergency?
If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. Many states have adopted legislation allowing individuals to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur, although in many states Organ Procurement Organizations also require consent from the donor's family.

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Does your financial or celebrity status help move you up the transplant list faster?
When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.

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All I need to do to become an organ donor is to carry a donor card and have it noted on my driver's license, right?
While a signed donor card and a driver's license with an "organ donor" designation are legal documents, organ and tissue donation is usually discussed with family members prior to the donation. To ensure that your family understands your wishes, it is important that you tell your family about your decision to donate LIFE.

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Can I only donate my heart, liver and kidneys?
No, there are other organ donations that are needed and which can be made. Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

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Does a medical history of illness preclude me from donating my organs?
At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It's best to tell your family your wishes and sign up to be an organ and tissue donor on your driver's license or an official donor document.

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Am I too old to be an organ donor?
People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.

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Will my family have to pay for it if I donate my organs?
There is no cost to the donor's family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.

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Become a Donor

Since 1988, there have been over 683,000 transplants in the United States. More than 33,600 patients were transplanted in 2016 alone. Yet, there are still over 8,000 Americans who die each year waiting for an organ transplant. That’s 22 people per day, and almost one every hour. Currently, there are approximately 118,000 men, women and children awaiting organ transplants in the United States.

In New York State alone, over 10,000 people are awaiting transplant. Organ donation helps save lives. Additional information about Organ Donation in New York State can be found on the LiveOnNY website.

Register to Become a Donor:

One organ donor can save up to eight lives, restore sight for two people through corneal donation, and heal the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation. If you are interested in becoming a donor, please click the link below to register. For more information about donation, visit DonateLife.net or UNOS.org.
Already registered? You may update your registration information / preferences here:

How to Become a Living Donor:

Living donors come in all shapes and sizes, some are family, friends, or coworkers of transplant candidates, while others wish to give the gift of life anonymously to someone in need, perhaps even someone they’ve never met. The benefits of living donation for the transplant recipient are being transplanted considerably faster (typically in less than a year) and often with higher quality organs than those from deceased donors. Additionally, living donation allows the opportunity for another transplant candidate to receive a deceased donor organ that otherwise may have gone to the living donor recipient. Even if your blood type is not a match for your candidate, you may still participate in the donation process by enrolling in the Kidney Paired Donation program, which is a program that matches incompatible donor-recipient pairs to other pairs that are eligible for a swap (i.e. the donor from one pair donates to the recipient of the other pair, and vice versa). Additional information about living donation can be found at UNOS.org.

How to Become a Living Donor at our Center:

Westchester Medical Center specializes in kidney living donation and liver living donation. If you would like information about becoming a living donor at Westchester Medical Center, please contact us at 914-493-1990 to speak with a living donor coordinator, or complete the form below.



For additional information please call (866) WMC-HEART or 866.962.4327

To Request an Appointment



Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
(914) 493-7000

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Westchester Medical Center is served by Metro North's Harlem line via two stations:

  • White Plains - Bus transfer options available
  • Hawthorne - Taxi service available

For train fare and schedule information, call 1-800-METRO-INFO or go to www.mta.info/mnr .


There are three bus lines (Westchester Bee Line) you can take to our campus. Please call 914-813-7777 for bus routes and fares

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The Westchester Medical Center campus includes the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center.