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What are the pros and cons of kidney transplant and dialysis as treatment for chronic kidney disease?

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Your kidneys remove waste from the body. If they stop working well, waste and fluids build up and can lead to problems like high blood pressure, and at some point, kidney failure.

Doctors generally favor a transplant, a surgery that uses a healthy kidney from a donor. That’s because those people usually live longer than people who get dialysis, which uses a machine or a tube to filter the blood.

Other advantages of a transplant include:

The number of people who need kidneys far outnumber the donors.

  • Better quality of life from avoiding the physical toll and time needed to get dialysis
  • Fewer limits on what you can eat
  • Fewer long-term health
  • More energy

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Kidney Transplant,” “Choosing a Treatment for Kidney Failure.”

National Kidney Foundation: “Kidney Transplant,” “Dialysis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Kidney Transplant.”

Cleveland Clinic: “4 Facts You Need to Know about Kidney Transplants and Dialysis.”

UpToDate: “Patient Education: Dialysis or Kidney Transplantation -- Which Is Right for Me? (Beyond the Basics).”

Piedmont Healthcare: “The Benefits and Risks of Kidney Transplant Versus Dialysis.”

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: “The Benefits of Transplant Versus Dialysis.”

Johns Hopkins: “Kidney Transplant.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on November 12, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Kidney Transplant,” “Choosing a Treatment for Kidney Failure.”

National Kidney Foundation: “Kidney Transplant,” “Dialysis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Kidney Transplant.”

Cleveland Clinic: “4 Facts You Need to Know about Kidney Transplants and Dialysis.”

UpToDate: “Patient Education: Dialysis or Kidney Transplantation -- Which Is Right for Me? (Beyond the Basics).”

Piedmont Healthcare: “The Benefits and Risks of Kidney Transplant Versus Dialysis.”

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: “The Benefits of Transplant Versus Dialysis.”

Johns Hopkins: “Kidney Transplant.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on November 12, 2018

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