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Medical Opinions

Stuart Greenstein, M.D.

Professor of Surgery
Montefiore Medical Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine 

Ron Shapiro, M.D.

Surgical Director
Kidney And Pancreas Transplant Program
Mount Sinai Medical Center / Rmti


Bernard Kaplan, M.D.

Professor Of Pediatrics
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia
The Perelman School Of Medicine At The 
University Of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Winston, M.D.


Department Of Nephrology, Mount Sinai 
School Of Medicine 

Lloyd E. Ratner M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S. 

Chairman, Board Of Directors
New York Organ Donor Network
And Professor Of Surgery
Director, Renal & Pancreatic Transplantation

Columbia University/new York-presbyterian Hospital


Rafik El-Sabrout, M.D.

Director, Kidney Transplant
Westchester Medical Center 

David Serur, M.D.
Kidney And Pancreas Transplant Program
Hackensack Medical Center


Dr. Stuart Greenstein

Transplant Surgeon, Montefiore Medical Center

“Any kind of surgery is a huge responsibility for the surgeon. The patient is in your hands and the slightest move of the scalpel can have far-reaching consequences. But when I operate on a person who’s giving away his kidney, there’s a unique dimension of greatness attached. I feel as if I’m involved in something loftier… the feeling is incredible."

“I have performed about 500 kidney transplants and have not encountered a single recorded risk to the donor. People continue their lives in the best of health. They just weigh a few ounces less, that’s all."

“It’s best when close family members are the ones to give the kidney. And only if that’s not possible should a kidney be sought elsewhere. And I don’t think it’s advisable to publicize the fact that you’re going to donate a kidney, but rather to wait until after it’s been done already. Often a family member or friend might try to dissuade the person from going through with it. When someone is inspired to donate a kidney, he should just do it without fanfare.”​


Dr. Lloyd E. Ratner, M.D.

Professor of Surgery and Director of Renal & Pancreatic Transplantation at Columbia University / New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Some people are terrified of undergoing surgery, but I tell them two things. First, statistically, it is more likely for a person to die in a car accident than while undergoing surgery to donate a kidney, and all of us walk on roads and drive cars. Secondly, the surgery is laparoscopic and the hospital stay is only two days, with most people up and running within three weeks at most — it’s not a long, drawn-out recovery process, as it used to be.”

“The Orthodox community is blessed to have Renewal… an organization I wish every single community would have a version of. By getting the word out, educating the public, offering support to potential donors, and acting as a liaison between donor and recipient, they make it a simpler and better process. Often, the patient is nervous about asking family members to donate for him and doesn’t do so. Meanwhile, his brother thinks, ‘If my brother would approach me, I’d certainly say yes, but I don’t feel comfortable approaching him. What if I make him feel bad?’ Until Renewal came around, this scenario was all too common. Now, the brother can call Renewal and say, ‘Can you let my brother know that I’m open to donating?"


Dr. Jonathan A. Winston

Professor of Medicine and Nephrologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center

“Any kind of surgery is a “Let’s distinguish kidney disease from kidney failure. Kidney disease is a syndrome in which the kidney shows signs of damage, but that damage can be graded from mild to severe. Kidney failure is the most severe form of kidney disease, a situation in which kidney function is no longer sufficient to maintain health. A person with kidney failure can only survive with either dialysis or a new kidney. Patients at risk for kidney failure can benefit from sharing information with family and friends because that sharing may lead to someone volunteering for kidney donation.”


Dr. David Serur

Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, Hackensack Medical Center

"The Renewal program has facilitated scores of transplants that would not have occurred otherwise... They are an exemplary community organization."

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