The best treatment for the right people

A kidney transplant places a healthy kidney inside your body. You only need one kidney to live. A transplant can come from a living donor, usually a friend or family member, or a deceased donor, someone who has decided to donate their organs when they die.

Patients with a transplant often live longer and have a better quality of life. Although you’ll have regular health check-ups and will still need to live a healthy lifestyle, you won’t have to attend dialysis appointments and you should feel more like you did before your kidneys failed.


Don’t wait — start now

Many people think they need to wait until they go on dialysis to get listed for a transplant but this isn’t true. Start the transplant evaluation process now. Once you have an eGFR of 20, you can be listed. Talk to your doctor or, if you are on dialysis, speak with a member of your dialysis care team. Once you’ve started the process, stick with it and get your testing done — the sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be on the road to transplant.

To learn more about transplant as a treatment option, sign up for our free Next Step Transplant class.


A treatment but not a cure

Although a transplant is a great treatment option for many people, it’s not a cure. You will need to take drugs — anti-rejection medication called immunosuppressants — to keep your body from attacking your new kidney. Transplants don’t last forever — usually 10 to 13 years if the transplant is from a deceased donor and 15 to 20 years if the transplant is from a living donor. Talk to your doctor about whether transplant is the right treatment option for you.


Start the transplant process now

Your transplant evaluation takes time. Here are some tips to make the process run as smoothly as possible:

  • You don’t have to be on dialysis to get a transplant. Know your kidney function; you can be listed when your eGFR is 20.
  • The transplant evaluation can take several months, so talk to your doctor to get the process started.
  • You’ll have many tests and meetings with the transplant team — don’t put off these appointments, as that will lengthen the time before you are approved.
  • Follow a heart-healthy, low-salt diet, exercise and stay free from infections.

To learn more about transplant as a treatment option, sign up for our free Next Step Transplant class.

Learn more about kidney transplant

Does a transplant sound right for you? Learn more about the benefits of transplant, the types of donors, and the steps to take to get a kidney transplant, plus answers to common questions. See how the need for kidney donors is growing and find out about living kidney donation.

Find out more about kidney transplant

Transplant recipient Akemi Jia with her daughter, Rebecca.