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What is kidney transplant?

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure performed to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy kidney from another person. The kidney may come from a deceased donor or from a living donor.

A person receiving a transplant usually receives only one kidney, but, in rare situations, he or she may receive two kidneys. In most cases, the diseased kidneys are left in place during the transplant procedure. The transplanted kidney is implanted in the lower abdomen on the front side of the body.

A kidney transplant is recommended for people who have serious kidney dysfunction and will not be able to live without dialysis or a transplant. Some of the kidney diseases for which transplants are done include the following conditions. However, not all cases of the following diseases require kidney transplantation. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

  • Congenital renal obstructive disorders leading to hydronephrosis, including the following:
    • Ureteropelvic junction obstruction
    • Vesicoureteral reflux
    • Posterior urethral valves
    • Prune belly syndrome
    • Megaureter
  • Congenital nephrotic syndrome
  • Alport syndrome
  • Nephropathic and juvenile cystinosis
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Berger disease
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Wegener granulomatosis
  • Goodpasture syndrome
  • Diabetes

Why it's done

A kidney transplant is recommended for people who have serious kidney dysfunction and will not be able to live without dialysis or a transplant. Some of the kidney diseases for which transplants are done include the following conditions. However, not all cases of the following diseases require kidney transplantation. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

  • Congenital renal obstructive disorders leading to hydronephrosis, including the following:
    • Ureteropelvic junction obstruction
    • Vesicoureteral reflux
    • Posterior urethral valves
    • Prune belly syndrome
    • Megaureter
  • Congenital nephrotic syndrome
  • Alport syndrome
  • Nephropathic and juvenile cystinosis
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Nail-patella syndrome
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Berger disease
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Wegener granulomatosis
  • Goodpasture syndrome
  • Diabetes

Our approach

Northwell Health provides kidney transplantation services for patients with many different types of kidney diseases, as well as living donor services. Kidney transplantation has become widely available, making this surgery a viable treatment option. Our goal is to ensure that kidney transplant surgery is available to the communities served by the health system in an efficient and convenient manner. In efforts to achieve this, we’ve assembled an experienced, interdisciplinary kidney transplantation team.This team is able to deliver the highest quality of kidney transplants care in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

Types of treatment

Compatible match

The kidney may come from a deceased or living organ donor. Family members or unrelated individuals who make a good match may be able to donate one of their kidneys, which is called a living transplant. Individuals who donate a kidney can live healthy lives with the remaining kidney.

ABO incompatible kidney transplant surgery

To increase the availability of kidneys from living donors for kidney transplantation, Northwell Health also offers ABO incompatible kidney transplant surgery. With this procedure, the patient receives a kidney from a healthy living donor with a different blood type. Transplant candidates for ABO incompatible kidney transplant surgery must have end-stage renal failure and an acceptable baseline antibody titer. The potential kidney transplant recipient undergoes a “desensitization” procedure (a combination of medications and plasmapheresis treatments) prior to the transplant to decrease the possibility that their body might reject the donor kidney.

Deceased donor kidney (cadaveric transplantation)

Currently, there are more than 83,000 Americans on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney (also known as cadaveric transplantation). The waiting time for patients with blood group O or B is approximately five years at most kidney transplant centers. The gap between potential recipients and available deceased donor organs is increasing. As a result, the average time on the kidney transplant waiting list exceeds the life expectancy on dialysis for some patients.

Results

In the short term, patients who have undergone ABO incompatible kidney transplant surgery have a slightly higher risk of acute rejection and possible loss of the donor kidney. However, current data implies that there is no significant difference in long-term patient or graft survival.

Organ transplantation has become the treatment of choice for end-stage kidney failure. Compared to other life-sustaining therapies, kidney transplants have prolonged survival and, most importantly, enhance the quality of life of individuals with advanced, irreversible kidney failure.

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