A number of diseases can lead to kidney failure and transplantation. These diseases affect people in different ways and progress differently from person to person. If you have one of these diseases, it does not necessarily mean you will need a kidney transplant. The most common kidney diseases include:
- Diabetes mellitus - Type I and II
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Inherited kidney diseases
- Side effects of a medication
When the kidneys fail to remove waste products from the blood, a condition known as uremia develops. Most people do not develop symptoms of kidney failure (or uremia) until 90 percent of the kidney function is lost. Once this occurs, the work of the kidneys must be done by dialysis. Dialysis is an artificial way of filtering the blood.
Another option for kidney failure is a kidney transplant. Kidney transplantation offers patients one major advantage over dialysis treatment - quality of life. Many patients prefer a transplant because they are able to return to a more normal lifestyle. Learn more about the Kidney Transplant Options, Surgery, and Post-Transplant Care.
If your doctor feels that you are experiencing kidney failure, you will most likely be referred to a nephrologist, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease. Following the assessment and confirmation of kidney failure, you can then be referred to our transplant center for a transplant evaluation. The evaluation members of the transplant team will do a thorough assessment looking at signs and symptoms of your kidney disease, developing a treatment plan and answering any specific questions related to kidney disease and/or transplantation.