RadioMD: Staying Well

Adult Kidney Transplants: How Long Do You Have to Wait?

August 18, 20149 min
There are many who need a kidney transplant, but there are not enough donors.Kidney transplants occur when one or both of your kidneys are infected and need to be replaced by a healthy kidney from another person. A kidney transplant can come from a living or deceased donor.According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are 100,602 patients who are currently waiting for a kidney transplant.Who is an eligible donor?Unfortunately, there are many who need a kidney transplant but there are not enough donors. The trouble is finding someone either living or deceased who matches your blood type.How long do you typically have to wait for a kidney transplant?Many people have Type A blood, so there are more Type A donors than there are Type B or Type O. If you have Type A or Type AB, your wait time could be a three months to a year. Unfortunately, if you have a Type O blood, you can be waiting for three to seven years.Where you live and you age also plays a major role in who can donate and your waiting time. For example, if you're in your 20s or 30s, you want your new kidneys to last you at least another 30 to 40 years.Can a living donor decrease wait time?If someone in your family or if you know a friend who has the same blood type and a healthy kidney, they can reduce the waiting time for a kidney transplant. Having a living donor also reduces your chances of having dialysis.What else do you need to know about kidney transplants?Chief of kidney and pancreas transplantation at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, David Leeser, MD shares what a kidney transplant is, who is capable of donating, the waiting time and what other factors contribute to getting a new kidney.

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