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Kidney Transplantation

Kidney transplantation involves placing a functioning kidney from another person into your body; your own kidneys are not typically removed. The kidney can come from a relative, friend, or an anonymous donor who has recently died. Kidney transplantation is not a complete cure nor is it guaranteed to work, but many patients who receive a kidney transplant are able to live much healthier lives. People who receive a transplant must take anti-rejection medication and be monitored by a physician who specializes in kidney disease.

Kidney Donation

Over 350,000 people have end stage kidney disease and over 65,000 people with end stage kidney disease die each year. Many people choose to donate their kidney to help another person with kidney disease, but because of the tremendous need, there is a shortage of donor kidneys. In the year 2000, almost 50,000 people in the United States were on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Only a small percentage of people who need a kidney transplant actually receive one. The waiting period for a donor kidney can be several years.

A kidney donor should be in good health and must undergo an examination and a series of tests to determine if it is safe for them to donate. The decision to donate your kidney is completely voluntary, and you may change your mind at any time.

Learn more about becoming an organ donor
You can contact the United Network for Organ Sharing at 1-800-243-6667 to request an organ donation card.