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A kidney transplant, or a renal transplant, is a treatment for kidney failure at end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kidney transplant surgery is a major surgery during which a person with kidney failure receives a new kidney, either from a living donor or a deceased donor.
How and why is it done?
Living donors can be family members, parents, children (18 years or older), or a spouse or close friend who may wish to donate a kidney. The donor must be in excellent health, well informed about transplantation, and able to give informed consent. Any healthy person can donate a kidney safely. A deceased donor kidney comes from a person who has suffered brain death. After permission for donation is granted, the kidneys are removed and stored until a recipient has been selected.
Regardless of the type of kidney transplant-living donor or deceased donor-special blood tests are needed to find out what type of blood and tissue is present. These test results help to match a donor's kidney to the recipient. The average lifespan of a transplanted kidney is 12-15 years, though some transplants last longer.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What complications can occur after a kidney transplant?
Minor infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), colds, and flu, are common after kidney transplants. Potentially more serious infections, such as pneumonia and cytomegalovirus (CMV), can occur and may require hospital treatment.
What is the normal creatinine level after transplant?
There is not a 'normal' range for creatinine in transplant patients but the average creatinine level in transplant patients is 150 µmol/L.
What is the quality of life after a kidney transplant?
Your health and energy should improve. In fact, a successful kidney transplant may allow you to live the kind of life you were living before you got kidney disease. Studies show that people with kidney transplants live longer than those who remain on dialysis.