We have changed our visitation policy for the safety of our patients and staff. Click here for the updated visitation policy and click here for information about COVID-19.

In an era in which organ donation shortages pose unique kidney transplant challenges, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center participates in several programs to maximize the number of available kidneys for transplant. These programs include:

The Power of Transplant: In Sickness and In Health (Kidney Transplant Story)

The Power of Transplant: In Sickness and In Health (Kidney Transplant Story)

Steve Sennott suffered from a genetic kidney disease, spending weeks at a time in the hospital. Knowing that Steve could face dialysis for the rest of his life, his wife Jackie suggested a kidney transplant and immediately volunteered to be his donor. Learn how the power of transplant gave Steve and Jackie a fresh perspective on life and a new appreciation of the vows “in sickness and in health.

Kidney Transplant Referral to Lahey

If you are on dialysis, or approaching dialysis, it is important for you to ask your nephrologist (kidney specialist) to set up an appointment with Lahey to begin looking at the possibility of a kidney transplant. Having a functioning kidney is a better long-term solution for end-stage renal disease and is much more cost-effective compared to dialysis.

Your physician or nephrologist can contact a representative in Lahey’s Department of Transplantation at 781-744-2500 and request an appointment for you. He or she will need to fax or mail your records for us to review. We will subsequently contact you to schedule an appointment.

If you are not certain whether your condition warrants a kidney transplant, give us a call at 781-744-2500, and we will be glad to look at your individual condition and give you advice.

Kidney Transplant Information

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs about the size of your fist. They are located within the abdominal cavity, resting against the back inner wall and behind most organs. They are within the ribcage, positioned just above the lowest rib.

The kidneys’ main function is to remove toxins from our blood. They also help regulate blood pressure and balance blood acidity level. The kidneys secrete a variety of hormones, helping with the production of red blood cells, intestinal absorption of calcium, and several other functions.

The renal artery brings blood into each kidney. Waste products of metabolism are removed, and cleansed blood returns to the circulation through the renal vein. Once the filtration process is complete, the waste product (urine) drains into the bladder and is expelled through the urethra.

Most people are born with two kidneys; however some people only have one kidney, and they can still lead perfectly healthy lives. That is because the sole kidney can compensate for the loss of the other kidney.

Reasons for a Kidney Transplant

There are many diseases that affect the kidneys. Some diseases are mild enough to be treated with medications or medical procedures. Other diseases can progress to the point where the kidneys suffer permanent damage and can no longer cleanse the blood. This is known as kidney failure. People in these circumstances will need either dialysis or a kidney transplant to replace the loss of their own kidney function.

Both dialysis and kidney transplantation can sustain life. However, when the two modes are compared, kidney transplant will provide a better quality of life, and in younger people, will allow them to live to their full potential. For most people, dialysis is often a bridge to kidney transplantation. In an ideal scenario, people with kidney failure should receive a transplant just before they need dialysis or as soon as possible after they have started dialysis.

If you are suffering from kidney failure or are receiving dialysis treatments, you should consider receiving a kidney transplant. Before receiving a kidney, you will have to go through an evaluation process in order to ensure you’re healthy enough to receive a transplant. If you are considered healthy enough to undergo the transplantation process, you will be placed on the deceased donor kidney waiting list. However, if you have a potential living donor who is found to be healthy enough to donate his or her kidney, then your transplant can take place as soon as your donor is ready.

The vast majority of living donor kidney transplants last longer and function better than deceased donor transplants. They can be scheduled as soon as the donor is ready, leading to a shorter waiting time to transplantation. For patients with advanced kidney disease but not yet on dialysis, a living donor transplant may completely eliminate the need to go on dialysis.