Kidney Transplant program
Pre-transplant weight loss program
What is the weight loss program for kidney transplant candidates?
Obesity is associated with increased risk of transplant-related complications, such as poor wound healing after surgery, wound dehiscence, new-onset diabetes, and delayed graft function. St. Michael’s offers a weight loss program for transplant candidates so that all patients can optimize their chances for a successful transplant. Patients gain access to a registered dietitian so they can lose excess body weight before transplant. There is no cost to the patient to participate.
The weight loss program will provide opportunities for patients with a BMI ≥ 40kg/m² to make lifestyle changes under the guidance of a registered dietitian. The patient will have access to follow up with the same dietitian after transplant to maintain their weight loss and follow a balanced diet.
The weight loss program is structured over six months. Patients will receive:
- First month: four one-on-one appointments with the dietitian (60 minutes each)
- Month two to six: 10 one-on-one follow up appointments with the dietitian (30 minutes each)
- Group classes taught by other allied health professionals to help with lifestyle changes
What are the goals of the weight loss program?
- Gain skills in portion control with a meal plan prescription
- Weight loss to achieve a BMI of under 40kg/m²
- Make long-lasting behavioral changes
- Build relationships and gain peer support with other transplant candidates
Who is eligible and how are patients referred?
Patients with a BMI ≥40kg/m² will be educated about the program by the pre-transplant nurse at St. Michael’s Hospital. Based on the patient’s interest and readiness to change, they will be referred to the dietitian to set up appointments.