A kidney transplant is a surgery done to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor. The kidney may come from a deceased organ donor or from a living donor. Family members or others who are a good match may be able to donate one of their kidneys. This type of transplant is called a living transplant. People who donate a kidney can live healthy lives with one healthy kidney.
A person getting a transplant most often gets just 1 kidney. In rare situations, he or she may get 2 kidneys from a deceased donor. The diseased kidneys are usually left in place. The transplanted kidney is placed in the lower abdomen on the front side of the body.
You may need a kidney transplant if you have end stage renal disease (ESRD). This is a permanent condition of kidney failure. It often requires dialysis. This is a process used to remove wastes and other substances from the blood.
Some conditions of the kidneys that may result in ESRD include:
Other conditions, such as congenital defects of the kidneys, may result in the need for a kidney transplant.