Living Kidney Donor Organ Transplantation at Virtua
With the limited number of available organs, patients can spend years waiting on the waiting list to get a suitable deceased-donor kidney. For this reason, many transplant patients find a family member or friend, or benefit from an anonymous living donor, who offers to donate an organ as a gesture of love or altruism to transform another’s life.
Today, immunosuppressive drugs that prevent the body from rejecting a donor kidney are so effective that a donor organ doesn't always need to be a match in tissue type from the recipient (however, the donor must be of the same blood type as the patient).
The benefits of a living donor transplant may include:
- Getting your transplant sooner
- Reducing time spent on dialysis
- Improving your long-term survival (kidneys from living donors last twice as long as those from deceased donors)
- Quicker recovery
Patients who have a matched living kidney donor can schedule the kidney transplant operation in advance. Donation and transplantation for the procedure will happen at the same time and place, usually in adjacent operating rooms.
Speak to your nurse coordinator to learn more about living donor kidney transplantation.
Paired Kidney Exchange
Paired exchange is a type of living kidney donation. In paired exchange, two or more kidney patients whose living donors aren't compatible each receive a kidney from the other’s living donor through a matching system.
Paired exchanges sometimes involve multiple pairs of donors and recipients. These “domino” or “chain” transplants can involve donors and recipients across the country. Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital participated in the first successful paired exchange kidney transplant in the Philadelphia region in 2010.
Talk with your nurse coordinator if you're interested in this type of transplant.