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WHAT ARE THE TWO KINDS OF TRANSPLANTS?
Kidneys for transplant may come from a person who has died (a deceased donor), or from a healthy living person like a family member or a friend who offers to donate a kidney (a living donor).
WHO CANNOT GET A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT?
Many patients assume they are too old for transplant but if you are otherwise healthy, age is not a factor in determining your transplant eligibility. However, there are some other factors that prevent patients from getting a kidney transplant
Current life expectancy of less than 5 years
Recent cancer (other than most skin cancers)
Uncorrectable heart disease
Untreatable psychiatric illness
Missing dialysis appointments or signing off the machine early
Active substance abuse (alcohol or drugs)
Lack of health insurance or Medicare/ Medicaid coverage
You and your transplant doctor will discuss your eligibility during the transplant evaluation process.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET A TRANSPLANT?
In general, the sooner you get a kidney transplant, the better. The transplant team and your nephrologists will determine the best time for you.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF MY KIDNEY TRANSPLANT DIDN'T WORK? WOULD I DIE?
No, if the transplant doesn't work, you can:
Start or resume dialysis
Pursue another transplant
WHAT CAN PATIENTS DO IF THEY WANT A TRANSPLANT BUT DON'T HAVE A LIVING DONOR?
Patients who do not have a living donor can wait to get a deceased donor transplant.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAVING A LIVING OR DECEASED DONOR TRANSPLANT?
Yes. Living donor transplants last longer than deceased donor transplants because a living donor kidney is removed from a healthy donor in the operating room and transplanted right away. Living donor transplants last on average for 15-20 years and deceased donor transplants last for 10-15 years. Some transplants have been known to last much longer.
CAN A PERSON LIVE LONGER WITH A TRANSPLANT COMPARED TO STAYING ON DIALYSIS?
Yes. Patients who have a transplant generally live longer than patients who stay on dialysis. The transplanted kidney works 24 hours a day to remove 50-85% of the total waste your body generates. Dialysis on the other hand only removes 15% of total waste and only when on the dialysis machine.
HOW LONG DOES A TRANSPLANTED KIDNEY LAST?
Kidney transplants have a success rate of more than 95 percent. Living donor transplants last for an average of 15-20 years and deceased donor transplants last for 10-15 years. If a transplant fails, a patient can begin or return to dialysis and/ or pursue another transplant.