Frequently Asked Questions About Kidney Transplants
The waiting time for a kidney transplant can be highly variable. If you have a live donor kidney transplant, your surgery will be scheduled. If you are waiting for a deceased donor or a paired kidney donor, your wait may be difficult to predict and can range from days to years.
Learn more about when you need a kidney transplant
We do. In fact, as one of the largest programs in the state, we have a significantly shorter waiting time than other transplant centers.
We have a financial coordinator who will help you and your family with financial related questions or concerns regarding your transplant coverage.
If you have chronic kidney disease, you have two treatment options: dialysis or transplant. Your nephrologist (kidney doctor) will discuss the risks and benefits of each option to determine if a transplant is the best option.
People with end-stage renal (kidney) disease (ESRD) have two treatment options: dialysis or transplantation. The decision to have a transplant is one that you will make along with the advice of your nephrologist (kidney doctor).
While dialysis is a lifesaving treatment, it involves dependence on a hemodialysis machine or on peritoneal dialysis exchanges (machines that clean your blood and replace the function of your kidneys). For many people, the quality of life on these two types of dialysis is unsatisfactory. Transplantation is another lifesaving option that can provide improved life and freedom from dialysis.
A successful kidney transplant allows most patients to feel better and have an improved quality of life. Although medical supervision will continue after transplant, you will no longer be dependent upon dialysis. There may also be fewer dietary and fluid restrictions.
Transplantation has risks as well as benefits. Your body may reject the transplant. You may experience side effects from the medications. There are surgical risks with all surgical procedures. Your physician will discuss the risks and benefits with you.
Kidney transplantation is a procedure in which a new kidney from another person is placed into your body, taking over the work of your two failed kidneys. The new kidney can do all the work that your failing two kidneys could not. Candidates for kidney transplantation can be put on a waiting list for a healthy kidney, but some may receive a kidney from a living donor who is usually a family member or close friend of the recipient.
A number of very effective medications are available to prevent organ rejection. These medications suppress the immune system, which inhibits rejection of foreign tissue. After a kidney transplant, recipients must take medications daily for the rest of their lives and adhere to all physician instructions as this will greatly reduce the risk of organ rejection.
Most patients feel better and enjoy an improved quality of life. You’ll still need medical supervision after your transplant, but you won’t be dependent on dialysis any more. You may also have fewer dietary and fluid restrictions.
Before a kidney from any donor can be used, it is tested to determine whether it matches your tissue type and blood type. This test helps reduce the likelihood that your body will reject the new kidney.
During transplant surgery, a surgeon will place the healthy donor kidney into your body. The new kidney will do the work that your failing kidneys can no longer perform. Generally, your damaged kidneys will not be removed unless they are causing problems that cannot be treated with medication.
After placing the donor kidney in your body, the surgeon will connect blood vessels from the donor kidney to arteries and veins in your body. After the ureter – the tube that carries urine to the bladder – from the donor kidney is connected to your ureter, surgeons can allow blood to flow through the new kidney, and it can begin to function. Kidney transplant surgery may take two to four hours.