Kidney Transplantation

A kidney transplant is an operation in which a person with kidney failure receives a new kidney. The new kidney takes over the work of cleaning the blood. There are two types of kidney transplants: those that come from living donors and those that come from unrelated donors who have died . A living donor may be someone in your family. It may also be your spouse or close friend. In some cases, it may be a stranger who wishes to donate a kidney to anyone in need of a transplant. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of kidney transplants.

If you have advanced and permanent kidney failure, kidney transplantation may be the treatment option that allows you to live much like you lived before your kidneys failed. Since the 1950s, when the first kidney transplants were performed, much has been learned about how to prevent rejection and minimize the side effects of medicines. But transplantation is not a cure; it's an ongoing treatment that requires you to take medicines for the rest of your life. And the wait for a donated kidney can be years long. A successful transplant takes a coordinated effort from your whole health care team, including your nephrologist, transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, dietician, and social worker. But the most important members of your health care team are you and your family.

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