A kidney transplant is the best treatment if you have end-stage kidney disease, as it offers the most normal life and an increased life-expectancy compared to dialysis. 

Kidney transplantation involves an operation to provide you with a kidney from a living or deceased donor. It is usually unnecessary to remove your failed kidneys; your transplanted kidney is placed into your abdomen. 
With a functioning kidney transplant, you will feel better and have more energy. However, it is not a cure, and you will require life-long medication and follow-up care with the outpatient team. It is important that our kidney transplant team assess your suitability to have a transplant. 

When can you have a transplant? 

It is better to have a transplant before you need dialysis, if possible. This is called pre-emptive transplantation. Your kidney team will discuss this with you during your kidney clinic appointment. 

However, this does not mean that you cannot have a transplant if you have started dialysis. 

You will have a series of health tests and investigations to make sure you are suitable and fit enough to have a transplant and to manage the post-transplant care. 

You are more likely to have pre-emptive transplantation if you have a living donor. Find out about living donors link to living donor page 

If you do not have a living donor you will be put on the national deceased kidney donor waiting list, if you are suitable for a transplant. Find out about the transplant waiting list link to transplant waiting list page 

The average waiting time is two to five years, depending on many factors. 


Kidney Care UK has a range of leaflets on transplantation – please click and look on the right-hand side to see: