When an individual's kidneys fail, three treatment options are available: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation. Many patients feel that a successful kidney transplant provides a better quality of life because it allows greater freedom and often is associated with increased energy levels and a less restricted diet. In making a decision about whether this is the best treatment for you, you may find it helpful to talk to people who already have had a kidney transplant. You also need to speak to your doctor, nurse and family members. At AKDH, we screen every patient for the possibility of kidney transplantation.
What is a kidney transplant?
A kidney transplant is an operation in which a person whose own kidneys have failed receives a new kidney to take over the work of cleaning the blood.
Are there different kinds of kidney transplants?
Yes. There are two types of kidney transplants: those that come from living donors and those that come from unrelated donors who have died (non-living donors). A living donor may be someone in your immediate or extended family or your spouse or close friend, and in some cases a stranger who wished to donate a kidney to anyone in need of a transplant. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of kidney transplants.
How do I start the process of getting a kidney transplant?
Your doctor can discuss the transplant process with you or refer you to a transplant center for further evaluation.
What are the chances that a transplanted kidney will continue to function normally?
Results of transplantation are improving steadily with research advances. In the event that a transplanted kidney fails, a second transplant may be a good option for many patients. A patient with a failed kidney transplant may need to be placed on dialysis.