Kidney Transplant & Conservative Care

Sometimes, a kidney transplant surgery may be a treatment option for chronic kidney disease (CKD). For others, supportive care without dialysis may also be a suitable option. 

Illustration of a kidney transplant

What is a Kidney Transplant?

A kidney transplant is a surgical operation where a healthy kidney from a donor is placed in your body. This new kidney will filter your blood and remove excess fluids the way your own two kidneys would if they were healthy.

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What is Required to Have a Kidney Transplant?

The success of a kidney transplant depends on a variety of factors. If your overall health is good, your clinician may decide that you’re an ideal candidate for a kidney transplant and will recommend that you are put on the kidney transplant waiting list, or explore any living donors, such as family members.

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How Likely is a Kidney Transplant To be Successful?

The success rate after a kidney transplant with a living-donor kidney is reported by the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to be 97% one year after the operation and 86% five years after the operation. Similarly, the success rate of kidney transplants with a deceased-donor kidney is reported to be 96% one year after the operation and 79% five years after.3

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Benefits of a Kidney Transplant

A successful kidney transplant may allow you to live a longer and higher quality life than while you were on dialysis.  You will no longer need to receive dialysis treatments or restrict your diet as much as you had before. However, life after a kidney transplant can be hard. Kidney transplant recovery may require immunosuppressant therapy, which can take a while to get used to, and involves many visits to the hospital.

Kidney transplants are not without risks.

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Conservative care

If you and your clinician decide that neither dialysis nor a kidney transplant is right for you, you may consider conservative care. This is when your healthcare team cares for you without dialysis or a kidney transplant. Instead, they focus on controlling your symptoms and providing you with the best possible quality of life. Conservative care is not a treatment, it is a means for making you comfortable for the remaining time of your life. If you choose conservative care, your healthcare team will help you create a plan that meets your physical, emotional and lifestyle needs.

Where to go next?

PD at home

Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) at Home

Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a type of dialysis which can be done at home. We explain more on PD 

CAPD

Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis (CAPD)

CAPD can be performed at work, home or during travel.  

Illustration of a man and woman sleeping in a bed during at-home peritoneal dialysis

Automated Peritoneal Dialysis (APD)

APD allows dialysis to be performed while you sleep.