Also called: Renal Transplantation
A kidney transplant is an operation that places a healthy kidney in your body. The transplanted kidney takes over the work of the two kidneys that failed, and you no longer need dialysis.
During a transplant, the surgeon places the new kidney in your lower abdomen and connects the artery and vein of the new kidney to your artery and vein. Often, the new kidney will start making urine as soon as your blood starts flowing through it. But sometimes it takes a few weeks to start working. Many transplanted kidneys come from donors who have died. Some come from a living family member. The wait for a new kidney can be long. People who have transplants must take drugs to keep their body from rejecting the new kidney for the rest of their lives.
The pancreas is an organ that makes insulin and enzymes that help the body digest and use food. A pancreas transplant is surgery to place a healthy pancreas from a donor into a person with a diseased pancreas. A common reason for this type of damage is diabetes. Pancreas transplants can enable people with type 1 diabetes to give up insulin shots. An experimental procedure called islet cell transplantation transplants only the parts of the pancreas that make insulin.
People who have transplants must take drugs to keep their body from rejecting the new pancreas for the rest of their lives. They must also have regular follow-up care.