Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for end-stage renal disease. While not a cure, transplant offers the opportunity for a better quality of life and improved survival. More than 17,000 kidney transplants are successfully performed each year in the United States, yet over 100,000 people continue to wait for kidney transplants.
Why Choose Beaumont for Kidney Transplant
Beaumont’s kidney transplant program is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to patients with chronic kidney disease, including end-stage renal disease. We have been transplanting patients with kidney disease for more than four decades, having performed more than 2,300 kidney transplants since 1972. Our highly skilled team provides expertise in transplantation with an innovative approach tailored to the individual needs of each patient. This helps lead to our superior results, which consistently meet or exceed national averages for kidney transplant outcomes.
We routinely perform high-risk transplants, including for highly sensitized individuals, those needing repeat transplantation (second, third, fourth) or patients requiring simultaneous multi-organ transplants. We have been very successful transplanting patients with co-existing illnesses such as viral hepatitis.
Over half of our patients are on steroid-free immunosuppression protocols.
We have established effective protocols to perform HLA Incompatible transplants (e.g. across a positive crossmatch, desensitization) and transplants across incompatible blood groups. Our patients also participate in the national Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program if they have suitable living donors that are incompatible due to blood group or tissue type, increasing the likelihood of benefiting from a living donor transplant. Our altruistic kidney donors are able to donate into the national Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program, potentially allowing more patients to benefit from their gift of life.
We help our patients navigate through every step of the increasingly complex environment of transplant medicine. Our kidney transplant team includes skilled surgeons, experienced nephrologists, immunologists, donor advocates, financial coordinators, social workers, transplant dietitians, support staff and specially-trained nurse coordinators, who work in unison with your entire health care team to manage your care from referral through recovery.
About Kidney Transplant Surgery
Your transplant surgery will be done by a team of surgeons. The surgery takes approximately three to four hours, but can vary depending on each individual’s complexities. The new kidney is generally placed in the lower abdomen on the right or left side. For most patients, the original (native) kidneys do not need to be removed and therefore remain in your body. The surgeons restore the blood supply to your new kidney by connecting the kidney’s blood vessels to your blood vessels. The ureter of the new kidney, which is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, is connected to your bladder. Kidneys from a living donor usually produce urine right away, whereas kidneys from a deceased donor may take longer, sometimes several days or weeks, to make urine. In some cases, short-term dialysis may be required while waiting for the new kidney to beginning functioning.
As the new kidney begins working and filtering waste products from your body, you will begin to feel better. Most patients recover in the hospital for approximately four to five days after their transplant surgery. During your hospital recovery, you will receive education about new medications, general care and follow up.
Who Can Benefit from a Kidney Transplant
Those with end-stage renal disease may be eligible for a kidney transplant, whether or not they are on dialysis. In fact, the sooner a kidney failure patient undergoes transplant, the better. Longer waiting times on dialysis may negatively impact post-transplant graft (kidney) and patient survival. Your first step is to be confirmed as an eligible candidate for transplant. All interested patients are encouraged to discuss their individual situations with the Beaumont transplant team.