Preemptive Kidney Transplant

Mikel Prieto, M.D., surgical director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Research Program at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, discusses preemptive kidney transplantation.

For patients with end-stage kidney disease, specialists must replace the function of the kidneys with one of two renal replacement therapies: dialysis or kidney transplant.

In dialysis therapy, a machine cleans the blood. Dialysis is only able to perform about 10 percent of the work a kidney performs. It can also cause serious health problems.

Kidney transplant is the preferred therapy. In preemptive kidney transplant, patients receive a kidney transplant, usually from a live donor, before they need to begin dialysis. Preemptive kidney transplant is the best option for patients: It can result in better function of the new kidney, enhance overall health and improve life expectancy.


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Mayo Clinic