FAQ: The Transplant Team
Please do not hesitate to ask your questions—however trivial they may seem to you. Every step of the way, your Transplant Coordinator will be available by telephone to answer any questions—and there is no such thing as a "silly" or "dumb" question. Please feel free to ask any questions, at any time, for any reason. We are here to help you.
Your Transplant Coordinator is available if you have any questions or concerns, and you may, of course, contact any member of the Kidney Transplant Team at any time with your questions.
The staff at the Kidney Transplant Center will answer all calls between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. The Transplant Coordinators will return these calls at their earliest convenience, usually the same day that you call. The Transplant Office number is 610-619-8420. Leave your name and telephone number where you can be reached. Try to be as specific as possible when you leave your message. Your call will be returned during the next business day. If you need to speak to a Transplant Coordinator during weekends, holidays or after hours, ask the answering service to page the Coordinator, who will return your call. If you have call block, please remember to remove it when expecting a call from our staff.
In an emergency: Call 911 immediately.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, such as chest pain, coma, breathing problems, or bleeding, call 911 and they will take you to the nearest hospital emergency room. You and your family should always ask the physicians in the emergency department to call the Crozer-Keystone Kidney Transplant Center, but DO NOT try to drive to Crozer-Keystone in an emergency. Call 911.
Who are the members of the transplant team and what are their jobs?
The Transplant Team is a group of healthcare professionals who are here to assist you before, during and after your transplant. However, the most important decision maker is YOU. These are the people who will be working closely with you to make your transplant as successful as possible. Each team member is an expert in a different area of transplantation:
One of your first appointments will be with one of our Transplant Surgeons, one of the doctors who will perform your kidney transplant surgery.
A Transplant Nephrologist is a kidney doctor who specializes in transplant and is the doctor at the Crozer-Keystone Kidney Transplant Center who manages your medical care, tests, and medications. This physician does not perform the surgery but focuses on your care before and after the operation. During your evaluation, you will meet with one of our transplant Nephrologists who will review your medical history and examine you in order to help determine if you are a candidate for transplantation.
Our Urologists specialize in the unique urological needs and care of kidney transplant patients. Like our Transplant Neprhologists, these physicians do not perform the transplant surgery; rather, they focus on your care before and after the operation.
Transplant Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
These healthcare professionals work closely with you while you are in the hospital and with the Nephrologists, Urologists and Surgeons to evaluate your health both before and after your transplant. After your transplant, our nursing staff will oversee your care throughout your in-hospital recovery.
Our Transplant Coordinators are with you throughout the entire transplant process, responsible for coordinating your treatment and follow-up care. Our Transplant Coordinators are also responsible for setting up your transplant evaluation, keeping you informed of your progress toward transplantation, and providing additional education and support while you are in the hospital as well as coordinating your yearly follow-up care.
The Clinical Immunologist has special training in the immune system and will be part of the team that evaluates and monitors you before, during and after transplantation.
Good nutrition has been proven to significantly enhance healing and outcome following surgery. Our Dietitians are available throughout the transplant process to provide nutritional advice to help you remain as healthy as possible. What you eat and drink is very important to your overall health and healing. You may meet with them during clinic visits or when in the hospital.
Transplant Social Workers
You will meet one of our Social Workers during the evaluation process. They can assist you with any non-medical issues before and after your transplant and help you and your family understand and cope with the variety of stresses and other problems you may experience during your illness. They can also give you important information regarding Medicaid, Medicare and other insurance questions.
Transplant Financial Coordinators
The Financial Coordinator has detailed knowledge about financial matters, insurance and hospital billing. This coordinator will work with you and the other team members to coordinate the financial aspects of your care before, during, and after your transplant and help you work out the best way to pay for your transplant. Our Financial Coordinators will also help you obtain preauthorization for your evaluation exams, kidney transplant surgery, and follow-up care. They can also answer any questions you may have regarding your healthcare coverage.
The Transplant Pharmacists specialize in providing you with education about the medications that you will need after your transplant. They are available to answer questions about your medications. Our on-site pharmacy carries the transplant medications that you will need, and if you live at a distance from Crozer-Keystone, they can coordinate your medication needs with a pharmacy close to home.
Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Primary Nephrologist
In most cases, you will continue care under your personal doctors before and after your kidney transplant. Your primary doctors are a very important part of your healthcare team and should be your point of care for any non-transplant related health issues, such as arthritis, back problems, diabetes, and the common cold. After your transplant medications have been adjusted, your primary doctor will manage your non-transplant related healthcare. Your Primary Care Physician or Primary Nephrologist can also coordinate medical care with your transplant team, especially if you have to travel a long distance to have your transplant. And of course, the Crozer-Keystone Kidney Transplant Team will be available if you or your doctors have any questions regarding your health.
The Psychiatrist will meet with you and your family to examine and assess neuro-psychological function and to provide emotional support during this challenging time.
Family and Friends
Transplantation is not something you want to tackle alone. In fact, it’s very unilikely that anyone can go through this process alone. Every patient will come to a point where he or she needs help and encouragement to make the journey. The Kidney Transplant Team recognizes that a strong support team produces the best outcome. We therefore want to make sure that you have a support system in place. This means that you have family or friends that are willing and available to drive you to and from your appointments and take care of you before and after your transplant. It’s a big job, but it’s just so important.
You are the most important part of this process. The success of your transplant is directly related to your compliance with the medications, clinic visits, and adherence to the rules set up by your colleagues on the Kidney Transplant Team. You must maintain a nutritious diet and keep a routine exercise program tailored to your physical abilities. Receiving a kidney transplant is a lifetime commitment.
The Crozer-Keystone Kidney Transplant Team Physician Staff
Cosme Manzarbeitia, MD | Transplant Surgeon
Named a Philadelphia magazine “top doctor” five times, Dr. Manzarbeitia is an accomplished transplant surgeon, research pioneer and author. He has also developed and led significant organ transplant programs at several major hospitals in the U.S. The first Fellow in Multi-Organ Transplant at Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City), Dr. Manzarbeitia received his medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. He completed a residency in General Surgery at North General Hospital in New York City and his fellowship in Multi-Organ Transplant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Dr. Manzarbeitia is board certified in General Surgery.
Kevin Sperling, MD | Medical Director and Transplant Nephrologist
Received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Completed a residency at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a fellowship in Nephrology from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology
Roy Marcus, MD | Transplant Nephrologist
Received his medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine. Completed a residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center and a fellowship in Nephrology and Hypertension at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Board certified in Nephrology and Internal Medicine.
George Dakwar, MD | Urologist
Received his medical degree from UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School. Completed a residency in urology at UMDNJ New Jersey Medical School and then a fellowship in urologic oncology at NYU Medical Center. Board certified in Urology.
Additional Team Members
Supporting these key physicians is an experienced team of nurses, nurse managers, coordinators, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists and other transplant specialists — all of whom are available to support your needs and questions throughout the kidney transplant process
Transplant Social Worker
Alison Harris, MSW, LSW
Sandra Kuserk, MS, RD, LDN
Tiffany Yoder, PharmD
Richard Pacitti, PharmD, MBA
Joan Gramlich, MBA