Often, people believe that kidney dialysis is the sole or primary treatment available to those with chronic kidney disease. The truth is, there are many other treatment options available; chief among them a kidney transplant. The advantages of kidney transplant are that it can free the patient from regular, lifelong dependence on dialysis machines. A transplant can transform a patient’s quality of life.
But, when people think of kidney transplants, they often think of organ donation that occurs after someone dies or when an individual has been declared brain dead and the family has made the decision to donate an organ.
But with today’s medical advances, an organ can also be donated by a living person. This is particularly true with kidney donation, because while people typically have two kidneys, only one is required for a normal, healthy life. (Other organs that can be given by a living donor include the pancreas and liver.) Often, the kidney donor is a relative or a family friend. In some cases, it may actually be a stranger.
Our Dialysis/Transplant Comparison Chart is a great way to see at a glance the difference between dialysis and transplant options in treating kidney disease.