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Renal transplant; Transplant - kidney
A kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy kidney into a person with kidney failure.
Kidney transplants are one of the most common transplant operations in the United States.
One donated kidney is needed to replace the work previously done by your kidneys.
The donated kidney may be from:
The healthy kidney is transported in cool salt water (saline) that preserves the organ for up to 48 hours. This gives the health care providers time to perform tests that match the donor's and recipient's blood and tissue before the operation.
PROCEDURE FOR A LIVING KIDNEY DONOR
If you are donating a kidney, you will be placed under general anesthesia before surgery. This means you will be asleep and pain-free. Usually, surgeons today can use small surgical cuts with laparoscopic techniques. See kidney removal for more information.
PROCEDURE FOR THE PERSON RECEIVING THE KIDNEY (RECIPIENT)
People receiving a kidney transplant are given general anesthesia before surgery. The surgeon makes a cut in the lower belly area.
Kidney transplant surgery takes about 3 hours. People with diabetes may also have a pancreas transplant done at the same time. This will usually add another 3 hours to the surgery.
See also: Pancreas transplant
Your doctor may recommend a kidney transplant if you have end-stage kidney disease. The most common cause of end-stage kidney disease in the U.S. is diabetes. However, there are many other causes.
A kidney transplant may NOT be done if you have:
Barry JM, Jordan ML, Conlin MJ. Renal transplantation. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 40.
Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Transplant Work Group. KDIGO clinical practice guideline for the care of kidney transplant recipients. Am J Transplant. 2009 Nov;9 Suppl 3:S1-155.
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