Benefits and risks of a kidney transplant
How a kidney transplant can help and problems that might occur
- A kidney transplant is the best treatment for many patients with long-term kidney failure
- Most people who have a kidney transplant do very well and risks are generally lower than staying on dialysis
- However, not every patient feels better or lives longer after having a kidney transplant
- There can be serious risks from the surgery and the transplant medicines
What are the benefits?
A kidney transplant is usually the best treatment for kidney failure in patients who are fit enough for the operation.
Main advantages of a successful kidney transplant:
- Most kidney transplant patients live longer
- Most patients enjoy a better quality of life
- No longer need dialysis
- Higher energy levels
- Work and travel is easier
- Fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink
- Improved sex life and increased fertility
What are the risks?
A kidney transplant is a complex process that can cause problems for some patients.
Main complications of a kidney transplant:
- It is a major operation and comes with surgical risks, like bleeding
- Infections are common after a kidney transplant
- You will need to take strong medicines to lower your immune system
- You may need further surgery to fix any problems
- Though rare, it is possible that the transplanted kidney doesn’t work
- Sometimes, kidney disease can return in the transplanted kidney
- Rarely, serious or even life-threatening complications can occur
Average survival statistics
Kidney transplants from living donors
99 out of 100
Patients are alive one year after a living donor kidney transplant*
87 to 90 out of 100
Patients are alive ten years after a living donor kidney transplant*
Kidney transplants from deceased donors
97 out 100
Patients are alive one year after a deceased donor kidney transplant*
75 out of 100
Patients are alive ten years after a deceased donor kidney transplant*
Discuss your options with your kidney doctor (nephrologist)
If you’re considering a kidney transplant, your first step is to talk to your kidney doctor.
If you and your doctor agree a kidney transplant may be a good treatment for you, they will arrange for you to have a series of tests.