Maine Transplant Program

At the Maine Transplant Program at Maine Medical Center, our mission is to provide the best care for patients with irreversible kidney failure and their living donors. As the only transplant program in the state, the Maine Transplant Program has performed more than 1500 kidney transplants since 1971.

We are committed to providing top quality, multidisciplinary, personalized treatment. Our experienced transplant team is made up of nephrologists, surgeons, nurses, lab specialists, pharmacists, nutritionists and social workers. Our dedicated group works closely with the providers who know you best including your referring nephrologist and dialysis unit, to ensure that you have the best outcome.

Why the Maine Transplant Program?

Receiving care closer to home can help ease stress. The Maine Transplant Program provides high quality care conveniently located in Portland, Maine. When compared with other programs in the United States:

  • Our center has higher transplant rates (proportion of referred patients who actually receive transplants) than the region and U.S.
    3472 MTP Graphs 8 17 v3 02
    Source: SRTR, July 2017
  • Our waiting time to transplant, is about 1/3 of the time for the region.
    3472 MTP Graphs 8 17 v3 03
    Source: SRTR, July 2017
    *If cells contain 'Not Observed' fewer than that percentile of patients had received a transplant, meaning waiting times observed were longer.
    **Censored on 12/31/2016. Calculated as the months after listing, during which the corresponding percent of all patients initially listed had received a transplant.
  • Our length of stay in the hospital after transplant is 1/3 less than the region and U.S.
    3472 MTP Graphs 8 17 v3 04
    Source: HCUP
    *(unadjusted for patient and donor characteristics)

These statistics mean you are likely to receive a transplant faster with us than other programs in the area.

Our patient and graft survival rates are excellent and higher than the U.S. average.

3472 MTP Graphs 8 17 v3 01
Source: SRTR, July 2017, for 1/1/2014-6/30/2016

  • For additional information regarding our program performance, click here.

For living donors, we offer:

  • Fast Track evaluation process that can speed up the evaluation of living donor candidates allowing us make a decision within 8 weeks of the initial visit
  • Kidney Paired Donation (also known as Kidney Donor Swap)
    • If your blood type is not compatible with the person you want to donate to (this happens about 30 percent of the time), you can still help that person by taking part in a kidney transplant paired exchange.
    • Through our program, you can participate in a local or national exchange, so your kidney goes to a patient in need. Then, as part of the exchange, your intended recipient will receive a kidney from someone else who they are compatible with.
    • Your chances of helping somebody in need despite being incompatible are 3 times higher with us than the national average.
      3472 MTP Graphs 8 17 v3 05
      *Source: Maine Medical Center               **Source: SRTR, July 2017

Informational Videos on Living Donation and Organ Transplant

The Maine Transplant Program provides easy-to-understand information about organ transplant and living donation. These interactive programs can help you learn more becoming a donor and general information on organ transplant surgery.

The programs, created by Emmi Solutions, are developed in partnership with Board certified physicians. *Please note — these programs provide a general overview. Your surgeon may have different requirements, recommendations, and pathways than what is presented.

To view a Video, please click on the links below and complete the registration.

Organ Transplant Overview
Becoming a Donor 

Educational Materials


The Maine Transplant Program has been at the forefront of both translational and clinical research. As a teaching hospital, many of our physicians serve as faculty who continue to publish scholarly works in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals. We are very active participants in medical education at every level. You may meet our trainees both in clinic and in the hospital as they learn about kidney disease and transplantation from our expert faculty.

Kate and Mike's Story

Michael Martel has been on dialysis for 9 years and needed a new kidney. Kate Myhaver wanted to donate a kidney to a friend but it wasn't a match. Despite that, she moved forward being an altruistic donor, someone who gives an kidney to an unknown person, and Michael was the lucky recipient.

Message from Our Director

Our mission is to provide the best care for patients with irreversible kidney failure and their living donors. Read more from our Director, Dr. John Vella.

Learn More

Learn About Living Donation

Listen to Dr. Juan Palma, Transplant Surgeon at Maine Transplant Program at Maine Medical Center will discuss the facts around being a living kidney donor.

Listen Now