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Kidney Transplant Outcomes

In general terms, either living or deceased donor kidney transplantation allows the patient a higher quality of life than is possible with dialysis.

The primary advantages experienced by most transplant patients include:

  • The donated kidney works like a normal kidney
  • There are fewer restrictions on diet
  • Fluid intake does not need to be severely restricted
  • Patients generally feel healthier because they do not experience the chemical imbalances and other side effects of hemodialysis
  • Patients are not restricted by the dialysis routine and have greater freedom in their schedules
  • Patients have greater mobility in traveling
  • Patients have a greater range of physical activities available to them and greater freedom of movement

There are also a number of disadvantages to kidney transplantation. These may include:

  • Taking anti-rejection drugs for as long as the transplanted kidney is working
  • Undergoing major surgery
  • Finding or waiting for an available donor
  • Facing the possibility of kidney rejection, requiring additional transplants or returning to dialysis
  • Dealing with the possible side effects of the medications
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Increased incidence of cancer over the general population
  • Weight gain
  • Increased hair growth

These are all considerations which the kidney patient must take into account when making a decision about the most appropriate treatment.