A kidney transplant is a surgery that transplants a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor into an individual whose kidneys do not function well due to end-stage kidney disease.

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs situated on either side of the spine just underneath the rib cage. Every kidney is about the size of a clenched hand. Their primary activity is to filter and expel waste, minerals and fluid from the blood by creating urine.

When your kidneys lose this filtering capacity, unsafe levels of fluid and waste build up in your body, which can raise your blood pressure and result in end stage kidney disease. End stage kidney disease happens when the kidneys have lost around 90 percent of their capacity to work normally.

Kidney transplants have the following types:

  • Deceased-donor kidney transplant
  • Living-donor kidney transplant
  • Pre-emptive kidney transplant


The following tests may be requested before doing a kidney transplant:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Ultrasound with Doppler examination
  • Blood tests – Blood count, blood and tissue type, blood chemistries, immune system function and blood tests for certain infectious diseases
  • Blood typing
  • Pulmonary function
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series
  • Lower GI series
  • Renal function studies
  • Tissue typing
  • Panel Reactive Antibody (PRA)
  • Viral testing
  • Mammogram
  • Pap smear
  • Echocardiogram
  • Dental Evaluations



The following immunosuppressant drugs may be given as maintenance medicines after a transplant:

  • Calcineurin inhibitors such as Tacrolimus and Cyclosporine
  • Antiproliferative agents such as Mycophenolate Mofetil, Mycophenolate Sodium and Azathioprine
  • mTOR inhibitor such as Sirolimus
  • Steroids such as Prednisone

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