Kidney Transplant

Treatment Duration

3 hours


4 hours

Treatment Cost

Rs 4,50,000


Rs 15,00,000

Kidney Transplant: A Lifesaving Procedure

Kidney transplant, also known as renal transplantation, is a medical procedure that involves replacing a damaged or non-functional kidney with a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor. This life-saving surgery is considered the gold standard treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and can significantly improve a patient's quality of life. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into what kidney transplant entails, who may require it, how the surgery is performed, what to expect during the recovery process, the cost in top Indian hospitals, the risks of not undergoing the procedure, and the numerous benefits it offers.

What Is Kidney Transplant?

Kidney transplant is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a diseased or non-functioning kidney and replacing it with a healthy one. This new kidney can come from either a living donor, typically a family member or a compatible individual, or a deceased donor. The objective is to restore normal kidney function, allowing the recipient to filter waste and excess fluids from the blood effectively.

Who Needs Kidney Transplant?

1. End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Patients:

Kidney transplant is primarily indicated for individuals diagnosed with ESRD, where the kidneys have lost their ability to filter waste products and maintain fluid balance. This condition often results from chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, or genetic disorders.

2. Non-Responsive to Dialysis:

Patients who no longer respond adequately to dialysis treatments may be suitable candidates for kidney transplant. Dialysis, while effective, can be physically taxing and may not provide long-term relief.

3. Congenital Kidney Abnormalities:

Some individuals are born with congenital kidney abnormalities that impair their kidney function. In such cases, a transplant may be recommended to improve overall health and well-being.

4. Severe Kidney Infections or Trauma:

Patients with severe kidney infections, trauma, or cancer may require kidney transplant if the damage is irreversible, and alternative treatments are not effective.

How Is Kidney Transplant Performed?

Kidney transplant surgery involves several crucial steps:

1. Donor Evaluation:

In the case of living donors, a thorough evaluation is conducted to ensure compatibility and overall health. Deceased donor kidneys are carefully matched based on blood type, tissue compatibility, and waiting list priority.

2. Surgery:

The recipient is prepared for surgery, and the damaged kidney is removed. The healthy donor kidney is then transplanted into the recipient's lower abdomen, typically on the left side.

3. Vascular and Ureteral Connections:

The donor kidney's blood vessels and ureter (tube connecting the kidney to the bladder) are connected to the recipient's blood vessels and bladder, allowing for proper blood flow and urine drainage.

4. Immunosuppressive Medications:

To prevent rejection of the new kidney, recipients are prescribed immunosuppressive medications. These medications suppress the immune system's response to the foreign organ while maintaining essential immune function.

5. Post-Operative Care:

After surgery, patients are closely monitored for complications and undergo regular check-ups to ensure the kidney is functioning optimally.

What to Expect From Kidney Transplant Surgery

Patients undergoing kidney transplant surgery can anticipate the following:

1. Improved Quality of Life: Most recipients experience a significant improvement in their overall health and well-being, as the transplanted kidney restores normal kidney function.

2. Lifelong Medication: Patients must commit to taking immunosuppressive medications for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection of the transplanted kidney.

3. Recovery Time: Recovery times vary, but patients can typically return to normal activities within a few months post-surgery.

4. Regular Follow-Ups: Long-term follow-up care and monitoring are essential to ensure the transplanted kidney's health and function.

5. Potential Complications: While the procedure is generally safe, complications such as rejection, infection, or side effects from immunosuppressive drugs may arise and require prompt medical attention.

Cost of Kidney Transplant in Top Indian Hospitals

The cost of kidney transplant surgery in top Indian hospitals can vary depending on several factors, including the hospital's reputation, the surgeon's expertise, the type of donor (living or deceased), and any associated complications. On average, the cost can range from INR 5-12 lakhs (approximately $6,700 - $16,000), making it a cost-effective option compared to many other countries.

Risks of Not Getting Kidney Transplant

Choosing not to undergo a kidney transplant when medically indicated can have serious consequences:

1. Decline in Health: Without a functioning kidney, individuals with ESRD will experience a gradual decline in health, leading to weakness, fatigue, and an increased risk of infections.

2. Dependence on Dialysis: Those who forgo transplant will become reliant on regular dialysis sessions, which can be physically taxing and time-consuming.

3. Increased Mortality Risk: ESRD significantly increases the risk of premature death, and kidney transplant is often the best chance at extending and improving life expectancy.

Benefits of Kidney Transplant

Kidney transplant offers a multitude of benefits for recipients:

1. Improved Quality of Life: Transplant recipients can lead more normal lives, free from the constraints of dialysis and the limitations imposed by kidney disease.

2. Prolonged Life Expectancy: Kidney transplant significantly increases life expectancy compared to those who remain on dialysis.

3. Fewer Dietary Restrictions: Post-transplant, recipients have fewer dietary restrictions and can enjoy a more varied and enjoyable diet.

4. Enhanced Physical and Mental Well-Being: Improved kidney function leads to better physical health and can alleviate depression and anxiety associated with ESRD.

5. Return to Productivity: Many recipients are able to return to work and resume their normal daily activities.


In conclusion, kidney transplant is a highly effective and life-changing procedure for individuals suffering from end-stage renal disease. It offers numerous benefits, including improved quality of life and extended life expectancy. While there are potential risks and challenges, the procedure has proven to be a transformative treatment option for those in need. If you or a loved one is considering a kidney transplant, consult with a medical professional to determine the best course of action and explore the options available.


The surgery usually takes 3 to 4 hours.

Yes, it is possible as long as the donor is a compatible match.

Age is not the sole determining factor; suitability depends on overall health.

Rejection is a potential risk and is managed with immunosuppressive medications.

Recovery varies from person to person, but most patients can resume normal activities within a few months.

Initially, there may be dietary restrictions, but these are gradually lifted as the patient recovers.

Yes, it is possible to have multiple kidney transplants if needed.

While less common, rejection can occur with a deceased donor kidney, but it is typically manageable.

The longevity of a transplanted kidney varies, but with proper care, many last for a decade or more.

Yes, many transplant recipients lead normal, healthy lives post-surgery, with regular medical follow-up.

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