In many cases, a transplant is the best option for people who have lost their kidney function.
Unfortunately, the number of people who need kidney transplants far exceed the number of kidneys available for transplantation. Kidneys can come from two types of donors: living donors and deceased donors (someone who has experienced irreversible brain death). Because the supply of deceased donor kidneys has shown only modest increases in the last decade, comparatively large increases in living kidney donation have been observed over the past several years. More than half of all kidney transplants are now from living donors.
Living donor kidney transplants have several advantages over deceased donor kidney transplants. In general, living donor kidney transplants
The best results in kidney transplantation are achieved when the donor and the recipient are “compatible” – that is their blood types are compatible, and the recipient does not have immunity to the donor (i.e., the recipient is “cross match compatible” with the donor). However, in about three cases out of ten, a potential donor cannot donate because of ABO blood group or cross match incompatibility.
For a patient with kidney disease who needs a transplant, and has a willing and healthy donor who cannot donate because of incompatibility, there are now two options: