Treatments & Procedures

When deposits of amyloid proteins cause one or more organs to fail, the expert team at Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center (in conjunction with the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine) will start the process of restoring your health with a thorough evaluation; we will begin with a series of tests and assessments to give us an accurate picture of the severity of your condition and your fitness for surgery.

During your evaluation, you will also meet with a financial counselor to review insurance coverage and discuss the financial considerations associated with individual, multiple-organ  or bone marrow transplants . A social worker will conduct a psychosocial evaluation to ensure that you and your family are emotionally prepared for the stress that often accompanies the transplant process.

While on the Wait List
All patients accepted by a transplant program are put on a national computer wait list kept by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to ensure that all patients in need of a transplant are given fair access to donor organs. For bone marrow transplants, Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW) collects the relevant data of volunteer stem cell donors and is responsible for the coordination of their worldwide distribution.

Rules, called allocation policies, have been established to determine how transplant candidates are ranked on the wait list for each type of organ.

Once you are on the list, the wait for a donor organ begins. From the time you are placed on the list, you need to be ready to receive a transplant. You will be seen in the transplant clinic frequently for labs and follow-up appointments. During the waiting period, you and your caregivers are encouraged to attend our education classes on the transplant process. 

For bone marrow transplants, there may be little or no wait time if you are receiving stem cells that were taken from your own body or are receiving stem cells from a family member.

The Transplant Surgery
Before the transplant surgery, your anesthesiologist will talk with you and explain what will occur during the surgery. You will be given general anesthesia so you will be asleep during surgery. 

The surgical procedure being performed and how long you will be in surgery will depend on the type and number of organs being transplanted. You can learn more about transplant procedures for specific organs below:

Bone marrow and stem cell transplants are usually performed after chemotherapy and radiation is complete; the process is similar to a blood transfusion.

After Transplant Surgery
When you wake after surgery, you will be in our transplant recovery area or intensive care unit. 

We will help you manage any pain you may experience after surgery. Most patients find their pain decreases within a day or two of surgery. Getting out of bed and walking may help reduce pain.

You will stay in the hospital as long as your transplant team feels is necessary; this will depend on the type and number of transplants you had.

Depending on the type of bone marrow transplant you have and your condition following the transplant procedure, you may have to spend some time in a special unit to avoid infection; however, some bone marrow transplants can be performed as outpatient procedures.

Going Home and Staying Healthy
You will continue your recovery at home after surgery; during the first eight weeks, your daily activities will have some limits, including not lifting anything more than 10 pounds. You may return to most normal activities within a few months.

Our team will monitor your progress during recovery, so you must be available for clinic appointments, lab tests and other assessments; this way, we can determine how well your new organ or bone marrow is working. 

About a year after surgery, we may decrease the number of times you need to meet with the transplant team in a year. 

To take care of your new organs for the long term, we will work with you to create a healthy diet and exercise plan, one that will help you regain your strength and reduce the risks of diseases that can threaten the health of your new organs.

Read more about what to expect regarding the general transplant process and what issues you will need to address once you return home after your transplant.


Our physicians specialize in managing amyloidosis at the following locations:

Our physicians conduct pre and posttransplant evaluations at the following convenient locations.