Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant 1

The kidneys are noble organs that filter the blood every second of every day. They produce hormones, regulate blood volume and electrolytes, and maintain homeostasis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.2 million people died from kidney failure in 2015. 

There are two types of kidney failure:

  • Acute kidney injury (AKI)
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)/End-stage renal disease (ESRD)

Usually, AKI is temporary and quickly resolves after a short period; however, some cases may develop CKD. The most common cause of CKD worldwide is chronic blood hypertension.

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure involving a new kidney graft for a patient with ESRD.

Kidney-donor transplantation is further classified into:

  • Genetically related transplantation (kidney donor is a family member)
  • Genetically non-related transplantation

Indication of kidney transplant

There are several indications of a kidney transplant. These include:

End-stage renal disease

End-stage renal disease

ESRD is the final stage of many chronic kidney diseases. It is caused by diabetes, blood hypertension, glomerulonephritis, etc.

When ESRD occurs, most of the kidney’s function is lost, which can present with a wide range of physical symptoms,


  • blood hypertension
  • Hyperkalemia (accumulation of potassium in the blood)
  • edema (fluid retention)
  • Hypocalcemia (reduced blood calcium levels)
  • Metabolic acidosis (acidic blood PH)
  • anemia
  • decreased libido

As you can see, ESRD affects most organ systems and can be a devastating condition to deal with.


Cancer could be located in the kidney or somewhere else in this category. For instance,

renal carcinoma is a malignant tumor that affects the kidney and may require a surgical graft.

Other cancers that could damage the kidney to an irreversible stage include prostate cancer in men and uterine cancer in women.

The pathophysiology that leads to ESRD in these cases is somewhat complex and beyond the scope of this article.

If you want to learn more about malignancies that cause ESRD, check out this article.

Blood hypertension

This is one of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Blood hypertension could cause renal failure in two fashions.

It can cause acute renal failure by malignant hypertension that damages the renal tissue or develop over years of untreated blood hypertension that damages the vasculature inside the kidneys.

Regardless of the mechanism, blood hypertension is notoriously known for damaging the kidneys, and preventive measures should be taken before it is too late.

Diabetes mellitus

One of the late complications of diabetes mellitus is diabetic nephropathy, characterized by damaged nephrons.

High blood glucose levels can make it difficult for the kidneys to do their job. As a result, the kidneys leak albumin (proteins) into the urine.

If this process persists for years, the renal damage can become irreversible, and a kidney transplant is indicated.

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

PKD is a genetic disorder that affects the renal tubules, rendering them structurally abnormal. The inflated tubules will turn into small cysts full of fluid that cover the surface of one or both kidneys.

Unfortunately, there is no curative treatment for PKD, and all we can do is delay the progression of the disease to prevent ESRD.


Similar to liver transplantation, renal graft has its contraindications. These include cardiopulmonary insufficiency,

advanced liver disease, and AIDS. In addition, tobacco and morbid obesity are considered relative contraindications.

Most of these conditions increase the risk of fatality during the surgery and the risk of complications post-surgery.

Nevertheless, it is up to your surgeon to determine whether you are eligible for a kidney transplant.

Once approved as a candidate, you will be on a waiting list to receive a kidney.

Click here and take advantage of a free consultation. 

The surgical procedure of a kidney transplant

The surgical procedure of a kidney transplant

Before the surgery, the kidney donor must be ABO (blood type) compatible with the recipient.

They should also share as many genetic similarities as possible.

For this reason, it is preferred that both the donor and recipient are blood-related. If the patient has a twin brother or sister, that would be the best choice.

Additionally, immunosuppressive drugs are starting to tamper with the immune system’s reaction toward the newly grafted kidney.

Previously, when a patient undergoes a kidney transplant, the surgeon removes and replaces the damaged kidney with the donor’s kidney.

However, this has changed with the latest guidelines.

Current guidelines recommend leaving the non-functional kidney in its position and placing the new kidney in a different location inside the pelvic area.

This results from the high morbidity associated with removing the damaged kidney.

The surgeon will then create a new blood supply for the grafted kidney, and the ureter is connected to the recipient’s bladder.

The prognosis (outcome)

Kidney transplantation is a life-extending surgery. Patients may live up to 15 years longer than if kept on dialysis.

They will also have fewer dietary restrictions, feel more energized, and experience fewer complications.

Patients reported improved lifestyles and feeling like they used to before becoming sick. 

Some athletes came back to high-performing competitions after undergoing a kidney transplant.

Examples include New Zealand rugby union player Jonah Lomu, German-Croatian Soccer Player Ivan Klasnić, and NBA basketballers Sean Elliott and Alonzo Mourning.

Kidney transplant cost

Like any other cosmetic procedure, 

Kidney transplant cost differs depending on the following:

  • The individual needs and the method used.
  • Geographic hospital location. 
  • The surgeon’s experience.

The essential point is that you choose the best Organ transplant surgeon at an affordable price. However, do not be attracted to only the low-cost offers without paying attention to the quality of the provided services.

Istanbul has become the destination for many people from all over the world to perform cosmetic procedures.

The reasons behind that are the competitive prices, the experienced surgeons in this field, and the specific medical services.

In Turkey, liver transplant surgery costs approximately $25000 to $35000.
You can save more and get stunning results with experienced hands at HayatMed for medical services in Istanbul.


Kidney transplantation saves tens of thousands of lives every year. It is a miraculous surgical procedure that relieves the suffering of thousands of people.

After undergoing surgery, patients will no longer need regular dialysis, and dietary restrictions will be minimal.

If you have questions about kidney transplantation, please share your thoughts in the comment section below. We would be thrilled to read them.

Click here for the exact kidney transplant cost or return to other organ transplantation procedures.

About the author

Picture of Zeyna Aslan

Zeyna Aslan

Zeyna Aslan brings over 13 years of expertise to the HayatMed Clinic Blog. With a passion for healthcare communication, Zeyna has crafted insightful articles that demystify complex medical topics, empowering readers to make informed decisions about their well-being.
Her wealth of experience ensures that each blog post is a reliable source of knowledge, fostering a deeper understanding of health and medical advancements.

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