There are two types of kidney transplants available, living donation and deceased donation.
Living Kidney Donation
A living donor is donating their kidney while they are still alive. One major advantage of living donation is that the transplanted kidney starts functioning in your body immediately after the surgery. This type of kidney transplant also allows you, your care team, and your donor to plan for the transplant and arrange the surgery when you and the donor are healthiest. The living donor is often an immediate family member, but could also be an extended family member or stranger as long as you have matching blood types.
If you and your family member do not have matching blood types, a paired donation may be possible. This is where two pairs of interested donors and transplant candidates “swap” kidneys. For example, Jane wants to donate a kidney to her sister Allie, but they are not compatible. Michael wants to donate a kidney to his wife Carol, but they are not compatible. However, Michael’s kidney is compatible with Allie, and Jane’s kidney is compatible with Carol. In this case, a swap can be performed between the four so a compatible kidney exchange can take place.
Deceased Kidney Donation
A deceased donor has chosen to donate their kidneys when they die. This is the most common type of kidney transplant in the US. When the donor has died, their kidneys can last up to 72 hours before transplant, so when a match is found, it is important to be ready to undergo surgery at short notice.
The wait time for a deceased kidney donation is about three to five years, but may be shorter or longer. Once the kidney is transplanted, it may take a few days or weeks to function properly, and you may need to remain on dialysis until your body and the kidney are in sync.
Talk to your care team at Cincinnati Home Dialysis about whether kidney transplant is the right option for you. We’re here to support you every step of the way.