The best option for a patient waiting for a kidney transplant is to receive one from a living donor. At Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, we perform approximately 100 living donor transplants each year.
Patients with end-stage kidney disease have three options for treatment: dialysis, a kidney transplant from a deceased donor or a kidney transplant from a living donor.
Dialysis is only a temporary solution. Treatment schedules are time-consuming, as frequent as three times each week for four hours each session. While a patient can remain on dialysis for many years, it is not a cure for kidney disease. In fact, ten percent of patients on dialysis die each year while awaiting a kidney transplant. For some groups, such as elderly patients and patients with diabetes, there is an even greater risk.
The best option for a patient waiting for a kidney is to receive one from a living donor:
- Wait times for patients with living kidney donors are reduced from years to months, potentially avoiding dialysis.
- Transplant recipients have better outcomes with kidneys from living donors.
- Kidneys transplanted from living donors may last nearly twice as long as kidneys from deceased donors.
About half of the transplants performed at Ohio State are performed with kidneys from living donors. Often living donors are family members, but a growing number are friends or co-workers. There are also people who choose to donate a kidney without having a specific recipient in mind. These extraordinary people are called non-directed or altruistic donors.