Living Donor Kidney Transplant

Approximately one-third of the 17,000 kidneys donated every year come from living donors. The rewards of living kidney donation are many, while the risks are few.

Recipients have a better chance of a successful transplant when the kidney comes from a living donor. Donors can help someone in need while continuing to lead full, productive lives with one kidney.

Living donor kidney transplants at Henry Ford

At the Henry Ford Transplant Institute, we perform kidney transplants from both living and deceased donors. Your transplant team can help determine which option is best for you.

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Benefits for recipients of living donor kidney transplants

There are many benefits to receiving a kidney from a living donor. Advantages include:

  • Longer-lasting kidneys: Approximately half of transplanted kidneys from living donors function for 12 to 15 years. This rate is 4 to 5 years longer than kidneys from deceased donors.
  • Shorter transplant wait: Kidney donation from a living donor, such as a relative, spouse or friend, can significantly reduce your transplant wait to as little as 1 to 2 months.
  • Lower risk of rejection: You are less likely to reject a kidney from a living relative who shares your genetic makeup.
  • Higher success rates: Because your surgery is planned and can happen quickly, you can receive a transplant while you are in good physical and emotional health. The healthier you are at the time of surgery, the better your chances for a successful transplant and faster recovery.
  • No need for dialysis: Kidneys from living donors usually start to work immediately, which means you will not need dialysis. Kidneys from deceased donors may be slower to resume function and may require short-term dialysis.
  • Healthier donor kidney: Because living donors undergo comprehensive medical tests, you know that the kidney you receive is in excellent physical condition.
  • Better transplant conditions: The donated kidney is outside your donor’s body and yours for a brief period of time. There is less risk of tissue deterioration compared to kidneys from deceased donors that are brought in from other hospitals.
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