Your kidneys help filter waste, excess fluid, and toxins from your blood. They are also important for blood cell production and bone health. If kidneys don't work properly, harmful substances build up in the body, blood pressure can rise, and too much fluid can collect in the body's tissues, which leads to swelling, called edema.
If your kidneys fail, you will need a life-saving treatment called dialysis to take over their job.
There are some drawbacks. You may have to wait for a kidney to be donated. If so, you will need to
have dialysis while you wait. Also, it may be hard to find a good
match for your blood and tissue types. Sometimes, even when the match is good,
the body rejects the new kidney.
After a kidney
transplant, you will have to take medicines called immunosuppressants.
These medicines, such as cyclosporine or tacrolimus, help prevent your body
rejecting your new kidney.
It is very important to take your medicines
exactly as prescribed. This will help keep your body from rejecting your new
You will need to take medicines for the rest of your
Because these medicines weaken the function of your
immune system, you will have an increased risk for serious infections or cancer.
Even if you take your medicines, there is a chance that
your body will reject your new kidney. If this happens, you will have to resume
dialysis or have another kidney transplant.
The success of the transplant also depends on what kind of donor kidney
you are receiving. The closer the donor kidney matches your genetic makeup, the
better the chances that your body will not reject it.