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Spending a long time on dialysis does not ruin your chances of having a kidney transplant.But research shows that getting a transplant sooner rather than later is generally the best approach because of the health problems dialysis can cause over time.So given the choice, patients who find a donor match and opt for transplantation tend to do better than those who elect to live on dialysis.
A living donor kidney functions, on average, 12 to 20 years, and a deceased donor kidney from 8 to 12 years.
Patients who get a kidney transplant before dialysis live an average of 10 to 15 years longer than if they stayed on dialysis.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has one of the oldest and most respected kidney transplant and pancreas transplant programs in the region.
Our longstanding affiliation with the world-renowned Joslin Diabetes Center promotes excellence in kidney and pancreatic care.
Moreover, spending a long time on dialysis before transplantation may also compromise the life of the new kidney graft once transplant occurs.
Published medical data has shown that the kidney will work much longer in patients transplanted before they start dialysis.This allows time for you to receive all the information that you will need and to be referred for transplant assessment.If you are suitable for a transplant and you wish to have one, the aim is to minimise time on dialysis or, where possible, to avoid it all together.Preemptive transplant is especially beneficial for patients with type 1 diabetes who need both a kidney transplant and a subsequent deceased donor pancreas transplant.Even though kidney transplant is major surgery with a phased recovery period, it can, in comparison to dialysis, offer you the opportunity for a longer, more satisfying life.It has been shown that kidney transplantation gives better quality and quantity of life than dialysis treatment, so it is in your best long-term interest, provided that you are fit enough to undergo it.If kidney transplantation is something that you wish to consider, you should speak to your kidney doctor (nephrologist) and about whether this is an option for you as soon possible.Patients who get a preemptive transplant receive their kidney when their health is generally good, which can improve new kidney function and enhance overall health and life expectancy.Almost all transplants before dialysis are from live donors.Patients who wait for a transplant on dialysis for two years are three times more likely to lose their transplanted kidney than those patients who wait less than six months on dialysis.Even the benefits of a live donor kidney transplant may fade away if you wait too long (more than two years) on dialysis.