Benefits of Kidney Transplant vs. Dialysis

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has one of the oldest and most respected kidney transplant and pancreas transplant programs in the region. Our longstanding affiliation with the world-renowned Joslin Diabetes Center promotes excellence in kidney and pancreatic care.

When your kidneys fail, you need one of two treatments to stay alive: a kidney transplant or dialysis therapy (either peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis).

Many patients come to our Transplant Institute with the myth that they can live forever on dialysis, but this is simply not the case. While dialysis is a lifesaving treatment, it performs only about 10 percent of the work a functioning kidney does. Also because of its impact on the body, dialysis can cause other serious health problems and complications including:

  • Anemia (a shortage of red blood cells, which diminishes oxygen and saps energy and strength)
  • Bone disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Nerve Damage
  • Infection

As a result, the average life expectancy for a patient on dialysis is generally five years.

Here To Help

Your transplant team is here to help you evaluate your health options early on, and make the treatment choice that is right for you. We can help you understand the risks and benefits of transplant surgery versus dialysis, and the advantages of having a live donor kidney compared to a deceased donor organ. We will carefully and clearly explain your options, offer advice and support, and help you and your loved ones make the best treatment choice.

Physician Referrals

Thank you for choosing the BIDMC Transplant Institute. We look forward to partnering with you in your patient's care. To get started, please complete the transplant referral form and submit it via email.

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