A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy kidney from a donor is implanted into a patient with end-stage kidney disease. One of the most common transplant surgeries, the procedure normally allows a greater freedom of lifestyle than kidney dialysis, the only other treatment for kidney failure. The most common cause of end-stage kidney disease in the United States in diabetes, but it also may be caused by other factors. In many cases a kidney transplant may be ruled out if the patient has certain types of infections, trouble taking medicine, heart/lung/liver disease, hepatitis or other infections, or a history of smoking, drug use, or alcohol abuse.
The healthy kidney must be donated by a living person (usually a close relative) with certain genetic similarities to the recipient or by someone who recently died (or their family). Most living donations are performed laparoscopically, which doesn't require the body to be fully opened and thus typically affords donors a shorter hospital stay, accelerated recovery, and a faster return to work. If patients needing kidney transplantation do not have a living donor available with matching tissue characteristics, they may be placed on a waiting list. The wait could be years, as the number of donated kidneys is small compared with the number of people on the list.
Images and Videos
TEDxBirmingham inspires man to donate kidney, become part of UAB Kidney Chain
Jan Jones: Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Recipient
Carol Graydon: Kidney Transplant Donor
Divyank Saini/Kidney Transplant Donor
Debbie Shearer's donation of a single kidney at UAB meant life for many others awaiting a transplant.
UAB Living Organ Donor Program
Debbie Shearer's donation of a single kidney in honor of her late son, George, meant life for many others awaiting a transplant. Living donors are carefully screened and only the healthiest donors are allowed to donate an organ. Watch this inspiring story to learn more about UAB's living donor program.
There are several ways to diagnose and treat this condition. The team at UAB Medicine will work with you to develop an appropriate care plan for you that may include medical and surgical procedures and treatments listed below.
This procedure may be used to treat or diagnose several different conditions. We have listed some of these conditions below for your convenience. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and may vary depending on your specific diagnosis.
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