Skip to main content

What is a 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.

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:

  • 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. 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.

The goal at Northwell Health 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, the health system has 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.

What to expect

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.


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 enhance the quality of life of individuals with advanced, irreversible kidney failure.

Go to top