Kidney transplant is offered as a treatment option for patients with kidney failure, also known as End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD). It is a procedure whereby a patient receives a new donor kidney. In most cases, the patient’s own kidneys are not removed unless they are badly infected. The donor kidney is implanted in the lower abdomen and will function just like a normal kidney and the patient can return to a life without dialysis. Having a kidney transplant generally increases a patient’s lifespan and improves his/her quality of life as compared to undergoing lifelong dialysis.
A donor kidney can come from a deceased donor or from a living donor. Everyone has two kidneys and a healthy body can function just as well with one kidney.
In Singapore, living donor kidney donation can be from relatives (e.g. spouses, siblings, parents, uncles, aunties, cousins), friends or even a stranger (altruistic donation). In deceased donor kidney donation, the organ is retrieved from suitable deceased donors under the Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) or the Medical Therapy and Research Act (MTERA).
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