We caught up with Dr. Thomas Waid, the medical director of the Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Program at the UK Transplant Center, for our latest installment of Making the Rounds. Dr. Waid has been at UK HealthCare for more than 30 years, helping make the Transplant Center a national leader in end-stage organ failure treatment.
What types of conditions do you treat?
The patients we see have end-stage renal disease. In other words, they are either approaching total kidney failure or they are on dialysis already. We also see patients with Type 1 diabetes who have advanced renal failure and who are referred to us for kidney and pancreas transplantation. So the majority of our patients are in need of a kidney transplant or pursuing it as a lifestyle change from dialysis.
Tell us more about the team at the Transplant Center.
We’ve doing kidney transplantation here since 1964, and that was only about 10 years after the first transplant was done in the U.S. It’s something we pride ourselves on.
Our team is made up of highly skilled and highly educated professionals who know what the patients need because they have been doing this for a long time. And I have the benefit of helping train some of my colleagues and imparting some of the knowledge I’ve gained over 30 years. We use the evidence we have, the scientific philosophy and as much empathy as we have to give the patient the best outcome that we can.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a transplant doctor?
The rewarding thing about transplant is the lifestyle change that the patient gets to go through. They are no longer encumbered by dialysis three times a week, and kidney transplant also reduces their risk for heart problems later on.
The patients feel better, they eat better, they have an overall better lifestyle, and that’s what makes it rewarding.
Check out our conversation with Dr. Waid, where he tells us more about the multidisciplinary care available at the UK Transplant Center.