Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs found at the back of your body. There is one on each side of your body, just a few inches above your waist. The kidneys are about the size of your fist and are reddish- brown in colour.
The kidneys take unwanted substances out of your body and turn it into urine, which is then passed down into your bladder and out of your body.
For some people, the kidneys stop working properly. This is called
kidney or renal failure. This is often caused by acute kidney injury or end stage renal (kidney) disease.
Common causes for kidney failure are:
There are over 80 different types of kidney diseases. Some are passed down genetically from parents to their children at birth. Some kidney diseases develop quickly, while others take years to develop.
If you have kidney failure:
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels may lower
Your doctor may be able to tell if your kidneys are failing from your blood and urine tests.
There are different treatments for kidney failure. One treatment is to have dialysis treatment many times per week to remove the waste products, water and salt from your blood since your kidneys can no longer do this on their own.
Another treatment for kidney failure is a
If you choose to have a kidney transplant, it will improve your overall energy, quality of life, and it will give your body back its natural functions. The benefit of having a kidney transplant is that you only need to have one healthy and working kidney to meet the needs of your body. A kidney transplant can be done before or after you start dialysis. With a successful kidney transplant, dialysis is no longer needed.
All patients with advanced kidney disease can be considered for a kidney transplant. Even patients who are 80 years of age or more, can have a transplant if they are healthy enough to have surgery and take medications needed to allow the kidney transplant to work properly.
If you are interested in learning more about a kidney transplant, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to see us in the
UHN Kidney Transplant Program.
After you have been referred from your kidney doctor to the UHN Kidney Transplant Program, you will go through an
evaluation process to find out if you are eligible for a kidney transplant.
If you would like to learn more about the UHN Kidney Transplant Program, fill out our
online Referral Form for Kidney Transplant or ask your kidney doctor to fill out the
Physician Referral form.
Kidneys for transplantation can come from:
UHN Kidney Transplant Program will work with you to find out if your possible donor is a match with you and can donate a kidney to help you. If they are not a match, our doctors and surgeons can find ways for you to have a transplant through our
Specialized Transplant Programs.
The amount of time that you may have to wait for a kidney transplant will depend on many factors.
Within the Kidney Transplant Clinic a FASTRAK (Focused
Transplantation of the
Kidney) process has been implemented to facilitate your evaluation. The team works with you to find out, as quickly as possible, whether you can have a kidney transplant. The team can tell you if you will be able to have a transplant.
Once you have been accepted for a transplant, the wait time will depend on:
One organ and tissue donor can save up to 8 lives and improve life for up to 75 others.