A kidney transplant is a surgery to replace a diseased or damaged kidney with a donor kidney. The donor may be a relative or friend. The donor can also be someone who has died and donated the organs.
Anatomy of the Kidney
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A kidney transplant is done to replace a kidney that is no longer working and cannot be fixed. It may also be done if the kidney has been removed (eg, as cancer treatment). A kidney transplant is only needed if both kidneys are not working. Kidneys fail due to:
- High blood pressure
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Interstitial nephritis
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Damage from severe pyelonephritis (swelling in the kidney, often due to bacterial infection)
More than 90% of transplanted kidneys from deceased donors remain working after one year. The success rate is higher with a kidney from a living donor.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Adrienne Carmack, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.