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Kidney Transplantation

A kidney transplant is an operation in which a patient with kidney failure (the recipient) receives a kidney from another person (the donor). Immunosuppressive medicines prevent rejection of the transplanted kidney and allow it to function just like a normal kidney, cleansing the recipient’s body of toxins, removing excess salt and water, and producing hormones needed to maintain health.

Our Experience

To date, our Centre has performed more than 500 successful adult living and deceased donor kidney transplantations. We continue to provide post-transplant care and medical follow-ups at our Specialist Outpatient Clinic for over 3,500 kidney patient visits annually.

In 2016, NUCOT performed 41% of the total number of kidney transplants in Singapore (both living and deceased donors kidney transplants). 


We are a National Referral Centre for Singapore’s deceased kidney donations and transplants. In 2016, we performed 63% of the total number of deceased donor kidney transplants in Singapore.1  



A kidney for transplant can be obtained from individuals who are alive (Living Donor) or those who have died in a hospital ICU (Deceased Donor).


Live-Donor Kidney Transplant (LDKT) comprises nearly 48% of the kidney transplants performed at NUH. Any patient with end stage kidney disease without cancer or serious heart or cerebrovascular disease can be considered for live-donor kidney transplant as long as they have a suitable and willing live donor.

Deceased-Donor Kidney Transplantation (DDKT) are performed with donated kidneys from individuals who have passed on in ICUs (Intensive Care Units) or circulatory death as per organ donation laws in Singapore. NUCOT is one of the two centres in Singapore that performs DDKT for both paediatrics and adults.

Post-Transplant Outcomes

Outcomes for kidney transplantation in NUCOT are amongst the best internationally

NUH started our first kidney transplant in 1987, and since then, our post-transplant outcomes are consistently ranked highest in the world for both short and long term survival.



A Centre of Excellence

Since NUH first opened its doors for patient care in 1985, the first kidney transplant was performed in NUH in 1987. Over the years, kidney transplantation at NUH has grown in numbers, scope and complexity.

Established officially in 2008, NUCOT brings together a comprehensive multidisciplinary suite of medical specialty services required throughout our patients’ transplantation journeys.

The services available include pre-transplant medical assessments, surgical and micro-surgical specialized services, post-transplant intensive care and recovery, outpatient check-ups and lifetime medicine reviews. Our team approach ensures that transplant patients are provided comprehensive, dedicated and individualized care.

Our transplant coordinators and other allied healthcare professionals (such as medical social workers, transplant pharmacists and dieticians) work together to provide the required support and knowledge to our patients and their care-givers.

Through our expertise, we are able to offer complex services in transplants for suitable donor-recipient pairs, such as blood group (ABO) incompatible living donor transplants and cross-match positive living donor transplants.

In 2015, our Centre celebrated Singapore’s first successful living paired exchange kidney transplant performed at NUCOT.


Our Medical Achievements

NUCOT has performed many firsts in Singapore in kidney transplantation:

  • 1989 - First paediatric kidney transplant in Singapore
  • 2005 - First combined bone-marrow and kidney transplant performed
  • 2009 - First living-donor kidney transplant across ABO-incompatible and positive-HLA cross match
  • 2010 - First successful combined liver and kidney transplant performed on a young person
  • 2012 - First simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant performed in Singapore
  • 2015 - First successful living paired exchange kidney transplant performed in Singapore


In addition to its clinical services, NUCOT is a key driver for training and research in transplantation. It is accredited by the International Society of Nephrology for training in kidney transplantation and hosts fellows from all over Asia.




1. National Organ Transplant Unit (NOTU) Annual Report 2016

2. United States OPTN/SRTR Annual Report


Information correct as at March 2018.