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Kidney Transplantation

What is a kidney transplant?

A kidney transplant is the surgical placement of a healthy human kidney into the body of a person with kidney failure. The transplanted organ restores kidney function, improving the quality of life for the patient.

Many people think of a kidney transplant as the absolute cure for kidney failure, and though a transplant does improve the quality of life and life expectancy, it is considered a treatment rather than a cure.

Potential advantages of receiving a transplant:

  • Feel healthier
  • More energy
  • Live almost normal life
  • Frees patients from dialysis
  • Able to work full time without regard to treatment schedule

Potential disadvantages of receiving a transplant:

  • Possible side effects of medication
  • Possible weight gain and body changes
  • Required to take costly medication daily
  • Current limitations on Medicare coverage of medications
  • Rejection risk
  • Not everyone will qualify to be a candidate

Each ESRD Network organization has been instructed by CMS to encourage area dialysis facilities to provide timely evaluation of patients for transplantation, as well as other modalities such as peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis.

If you are interested in getting a kidney transplant, you should make sure to tell your kidney doctor and dialysis facility staff. You should be referred for evaluation in a TIMELY manner.

If a relative wishes to give you a kidney, you should inform your facility staff right away.

For more detailed information on kidney transplantation, click here for the Network 8 produced Fact Sheet on Kidney Transplantation, and click here for the brochure "Is a Kidney Transplant Right for Me?"

For locations of transplant hospitals, click here for the Network 8 transplant poster. (227 KB PDF file opens in a new browser)

For information about what foods are safe for transplant patients and how to make all foods more safe, click here for a Food Safety Brochure developed by the USDA and HHS for Transplant Recipients

Information featured on the poster:

  • The poster promotes evaluation for transplantation and also informs patients that some disqualifying conditions can be overcome.
  • It points out that different transplant hospitals have different rules for acceptance and that the patient does have a voice in where they are listed.
  • It lets patients know that if they secure a living donor it will speed up the process. Names and phone numbers of transplant hospitals serving most of the patients in this region are listed on the poster.

Other Network 8 Transplant materials:

To learn more about transplantation, visit the following websites (links open in a new browser):

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