Dialysis vs. Transplant Survival Rates - Kidney Donation

Kidney Donation

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Dialysis vs. Transplant Survival Rates


My father (age 74) is in the process of starting peritoneal dialysis. While he has had high blood pressure for most of his adult life and developed type II diabetes around 10 years ago, he has been living a pretty active healthy lifestyle. I am considering offering to be a live donor and am trying to understand the difference in potential survival rates if he were to remain on dialysis vs. receiving a live donor transplant. I understand that each situation is different and that he may not qualify for a transplant, but I am just interested in some high level general statistics at this point to compare the two options. In the research that I have done so far, I have read studies that report a 5 year survival rate of dialysis patients his age to be only around 25% - 35% (i.e. not good). I have not been able to find comparable data yet for transplant recipients his age. I would appreciate any direction and/or experience that anyone could share to help me understand the prognosis a little better. Thanks in advance!

5 Replies
DSKdonorNKF Ambassador

You are correct, everyone is different and your Dad might do very well for a long time on any kind of dialysis. I can only tell you that my Dad was 70 1/2 when he was cleared for a transplant and I was his donor... He'll be 82 next month and we're 11 1/2 years post transplant -- I'm doing very very well, and my Dad is OK -- he did have a rough year after he had medication changes due to gout.... I have heard that a transplant is "better" and a living donor is best, but again, that's just numbers talking! Everyone is different! Best of luck to you both... but mainly to your Dad!!

MNCrapps in reply to DSKdonor

Thanks for the response and the excellent information. I am glad to hear that both you and your dad are doing well. Would you mind if I called you some time? My personal email address is cory.gerlach@yahoo.com.

DSKdonorNKF Ambassador in reply to MNCrapps

absolutely fine! I'll email you directly. -debi

Hello! I'm sorry to hear about your dad's dialysis. I think you are taking all the right steps in researching this and educating yourself about the options for him and for you.

Sadly, I'm not surprised to hear the stats you found about dialysis, especially when someone is starting to get older.

I'm not sure what the stats are about transplants for folks in their 70's. I'd start by researching if there is an age requirement to receive a kidney. There might be. But maybe not. I have a feeling any kind of surgery in your 70's is going to come with more risks, and a transplant team would tell you more about that. It very well could be more complicated than I think. I think I once heard the average wait time on the US wait list is 7 years.

Has his nephrologist offered you information about these options? Even if they have, ask for a second opinion too just to learn as much as possible.

Let us know if you're curious about other things about your experience as a living donor - you came to the right place!

Thank you for the information. My dad has an appointment with his nephrologist in two weeks and I plan to attend so I can ask questions about his potential eligibility for a transplant. Excellent information on these blogs!

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