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Kidney Transplant Types

Upstate offers four types of Kidney Transplants.

Patients who are fortunate to have a living donor from a family member, friend, coworker or acquaintance avoid years of waiting for a deceased donor transplant. Compared to deceased donor organs, living donor kidneys survive on average almost twice as long as deceased donor kidneys and with fewer complications.

The half-life (50% functioning) of a deceased donor kidney is 8 to 10

years, for a living donor kidney 18 to 20 years. Also, recipients of a living donor kidney may require fewer anti-rejection medications. Potential living kidney donors are screened for any medical illnesses that would impact on their own kidney health. Only the healthiest persons are eligible to donate: 30-50% of all donors are found to be unsuitable for donation. Our main goal is to cause no harm to the living donor and to prevent any deterioration of their kidney function. Different blood types (not “matching” are no longer a contraindication for donation.

The National Kidney Registry (NKR) helps facilitate living donation by finding better matches and achieving better transplant outcomes, utilizing their large pool of living donors across the United States. The NKR includes over 90 transplant centers and has facilitated over 4,000 living donor transplants throughout its years of operation.

By enlisting in this program, potential transplant recipients will have more donors to choose from, which equals better matches and better outcomes. Better matched kidneys last longer, which allows patients to survive longer with a functioning organ. Donors are offered a variety of protections, including lost wage & travel reimbursement, financial protection, and legal support. Transplant pairs are also offered the option for a traditional listing to help their recipient right away, or the voucher program which allows for a kidney donation now to help their recipient in the future.

For more information about the NKR program, please feel free to ask our living donation providers or visit the official website.

Paired donation is a variation of living donor transplantation involving at least two living donors and two recipients.

It is a method used to match donor/ recipient pairs who are deemed incompatible. This may occur if the living donor and recipient are of the wrong blood group or if the recipient has blood antibodies incompatible with the donor. Therefore, even if your donor is not a match, it is still possible to perform a living donor transplant by “swapping” kidneys with another incompatible pair. If the donors are from different areas of the country, the kidneys are flown to the other centers.

The Upstate Transplant Program works with organ procurement organizations to accept kidneys from deceased donors. Currently, deceased donor kidneys are offered to patients based on their age, time on dialysis (waiting time), and presence of diabetes or previous transplants. According to the current (national) allocation system, younger patients have the best opportunity to receive the best deceased donor organs.

Older patients have the opportunity to receive an excellent kidney if they consider accepting an organ from a high-risk donor—the individual risk of accepting such a kidney will be discussed in detail with you, your transplant surgeon or nephrologist and pretransplant coordinator. Other so-called

“extended criteria” kidneys will also be discussed in detail with you. We want to assure you that your wellbeing pre-, intra- and post-transplant is our highest priority and that we strive hard to prevent any complications