A kidney transplant, though not a cure, can be the ultimate treatment for a patient with end stage renal disease. This involves having a healthy kidney from another person surgically placed into the body.
The new, donated kidney does the work that the two failed kidneys used to do.
There are two types of donors:
Living donors: A living donor may be a family member, a friend, a coworker, or any person who is willing to give a kidney to someone in need. A person only needs one healthy kidney to live.
Cadaver donors: A cadaver donor is someone who has recently died. Most donor kidneys come from this source.
Due to the shortage of kidneys, patients on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney may wait many years. A kidney transplant though isn't for everyone. You may have a condition that makes the transplant surgery dangerous or not likely to succeed.
A successful transplant takes a coordinated effort from your whole health care team. Your team includes, your nephrologist, transplant surgeon, transplant coordinator, pharmacist, dietitian, and social worker— as well as you and your family. If your nephrologist thinks you are a candidate for a kidney transplant you will undergo several tests to confirm your eligibility (good overall health, no significant heart or lung disease, no cancer) to enter the transplant list. Tests will also be done to make sure the donor kidney matches your tissue type and blood type. This helps reduce the chances that your body will reject the new kidney.