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The Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at Cincinnati Children’s provides answers to frequently asked questions.
Transplant kidneys can come from either a living donor or a cadaver donor. A living donor must be at least 18 years old and in good health and is usually a relative of the patient. If no living donor is available, the patient can be placed on the waiting list for a cadaveric kidney, which is from someone who has died and whose family has agreed to donate his or her organs for transplantation.
Yes, a kidney from a living donor often has advantages over a cadaver kidney. First, recipients don’t have to wait until a kidney becomes available. Living donation allows the operation to be scheduled at a convenient time. Kidneys from family members are also more likely to be good matches, although there is no guarantee. And kidneys from living donors don’t need to be transported from one site to another, so the kidney is in better condition when it is transplanted.
Patients are followed on an outpatient basis at least two times a week after they are discharged from the hospital. The time they are required to remain near Cincinnati Children’s will depend on their medical and transplant status, as well as who will be following them once they return home. For out-of-town recipients, post-transplant follow-up details will be coordinated with the family and referring physician before the transplant.
No. Immunosuppressant medications must be taken every day for as long as your child has a working kidney. Taking these medications as directed is the most important step you can take to prevent rejection. Immediately after the transplant, some other medications will be taken for only a few months.
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