AboutKidsHealth for Teens



About kidney transplantsAAbout kidney transplantsAbout kidney transplantsEnglishTransplant;NephrologyTeen (13-18 years)KidneysRenal system/Urinary systemProcedures;Conditions and diseasesTeen (13-18 years)NA2017-11-30T05:00:00Z000Flat ContentHealth A-Z





About kidney transplants2673.00000000000About kidney transplantsAbout kidney transplantsAEnglishTransplant;NephrologyTeen (13-18 years)KidneysRenal system/Urinary systemProcedures;Conditions and diseasesTeen (13-18 years)NA2017-11-30T05:00:00Z000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yXvOe1ib4y0?rel=0&showinfo=0"></iframe> </div><p>A kidney transplant is an operation that moves a kidney from one person (the donor) to another person (you, the recipient).​</p><p>You will need a transplant if your kidneys are not working well enough to keep you healthy.<br></p><p>You might hear different terms to describe your kidneys when they are not working well. These include:</p><ul><li>chronic kidney disease stage 4 or 5</li><li>end-stage kidney disease</li><li>kidney failure (a permanent kidney disease that cannot be reversed).</li></ul><h2>Primary kidne​y disease</h2><p>Kidney failure happens for many different reasons. The disease that damaged your kidneys and caused them to fail is called your "primary kidney disease". It is important to know the name of this disease and learn about it.</p><p>If you know the name, write it down in your health journal or in <a href="/Article?contentid=2775&language=English"><em>MyHealth Passport</em></a>. If you do not already use <em>MyHealth Passport</em>, you can use a <a href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PDF_health_journal_long_EN.pdf" target="_blank">detailed health journal</a> for your notes. However, if you do use <em>MyHealth Passport</em>, you might find the <a href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/akhassets/PDF_health_journal_short_EN.pdf" target="_blank">shorter journal</a> useful.</p><p>You can learn more about your primary disease by asking your kidney doctor or a nurse at the nephrology clinic for information. You can also find out more by looking up websites such as the <a href="https://www.kidney.ca/kidney-disease" target="_blank">Kidney Foundation of Canada</a> or the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease">NIH</a> (the US-based National Institutes of Health)<a target="_blank" href="http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/">​</a>.<br></p><p>If you don’t know the name of your primary disease, make a note in your journal to ask the next time you go to clinic.<br></p><h3>Treatment for kidney failure<br></h3><p>There is no cure for end-stage kidney disease, but most people can carry on their daily lives with specific treatment. The best treatment for teenagers with end-stage kidney disease is a transplant.</p><p>Some teenagers need to have dialysis before they can have a transplant. Dialysis does some of the same jobs as healthy kidneys: it removes toxic substances or wastes from your blood. Whenever possible, your team will recommend that you move straight to transplant and avoid dialysis.</p><p>Research shows that a successful transplant offers a better quality of life than dialysis does. For example, transplants offer a better chance of growth and development for teens who are still going through puberty. A transplant also lets you follow a more normal diet and lifestyle over time.</p><p>If your team thinks that you need dialysis, and you have questions about it, talk with your kidney doctor or nurse at your next visit.</p> <figure> <img alt="Teen girl with kidney transplant scar" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/TTC_Trans2_Kidney_transplant_scar_8years_S2_3_PBR.jpg" /> </figure> <h2>How a kidney transplant can affect your future</h2><p>If you receive a transplant, you will need to do some important things to look after your kidney.</p><ul><li>You will need to take your medicine on time <em>all the time</em>. If you miss any medicines or switch your doses without the advice of your transplant team, your transplanted kidney will not last very long.</li><li>You will also need to drink a lot of fluid to flush out your kidneys and might need to follow a special diet to help you cope with the side-effects of any medicines.</li><li>You will need to have regular bloodwork (blood tests) and visit the transplant team or clinic regularly so they can check how you are adjusting to your transplant kidney.</li><li>You will not be able to go to school for the first six to eight weeks after your transplant. From then on, you can return to school and start to live a more normal life.</li><li>If you are generally well, you will be expected to do school work at home to keep up with your classes. Sometimes a teacher can come to your home to work directly with you for a few hours each week.</li><li>Your friends can visit you in the hospital or at home after your surgery but only if they do not have a cough, cold, flu or cold sore. For the first two months after your transplant, you will be on high doses of medicine to help your body accept your new kidney. This medicine weakens your immune system, so you will need to protect yourself against infections.</li></ul><h2> What if I do not want a kidney transplant?</h2><p>A kidney transplant is major surgery. It is understandable that the idea of a transplant might be unappealing. If you don't want a transplant, the following points might help change your mind.</p><ul><li>Your choices of treatment are a transplant or dialysis. Without either of these, someone with kidney failure will die.</li><li>For a teenager with kidney failure, a transplant provides the best chance for a normal life.</li><li>If you choose long-term dialysis instead of a transplant, you will need to spend a lot of time having dialysis at the hospital or in your home. This means missing a lot of school and having to follow lots of rules about what you can eat and drink. If you are still going through puberty, dialysis can also delay your growth and development.</li><li>If you have concerns about organ transplant for religious or cultural reasons, know that all religious groups agree with organ donation and transplant and respect the right for you to make an individual decision. For more information about how your religion or culture views organ donation or transplantation, talk to your family or your religious leader.</li></ul><h2>How successful are kidney transplants?</h2><p>Most kidney transplants are successful. On average, a kidney transplant will last 12 years, but it can last a lot longer.</p><p>Occasionally (less than 5 per cent of the time) kidney transplants are unsuccessful and only last a few days, weeks or months. If a person has a kidney transplant as a teen, they will usually need another transplant later in life.</p>