Kidney transplant

Kidney transplants are carried out for individuals with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).

Reviewed by Dr Emma Salisbury, Consultant Nephrologist

At a glance

About kidney transplants

Kidney transplants are carried out in patients suffering with advanced chronic kidney disease whose kidneys no longer work adequately. A kidney transplant can help restore quality of life for these individuals. 

Kidneys are vital organs which clean the blood and remove waste products and excess fluid from the bloodstream. If you have advanced kidney disease, these waste products can build up to toxic levels and cause you to become ill. 

A kidney transplant doesn’t have to be daunting. At Cromwell Hospital, our consultant nephrologists and dedicated renal team are with you every step of the way, from initial consultation to transplant surgery and aftercare.

Not everyone can have a kidney transplant. Your consultant will assess whether you are a suitable candidate for a kidney transplant based on several factors. These may include: 

  • Your overall health 
  • The likely success rate of surgery 
  • Your ability to follow aftercare instructions 

You may not be suitable for a kidney transplant if you have other health conditions, like cancer or severe heart disease. 

If you cannot have a kidney transplant, there are other treatments you can try like dialysis.

A kidney transplant is a complex procedure performed by a highly trained surgeon. It usually takes around three hours. 

During the procedure, a cut will be made in your lower stomach to provide an entry point where the donor kidney can be placed. Your own kidneys will not be removed unless they are causing you health problems. 

Nearby blood vessels are then connected to the donor kidney to supply it with blood. To finish, the ureter on the donor kidney is connected to your bladder. 

A stent will be inserted into the transplanted ureter (a tube connecting the new kidney to your bladder) during the initial operation. This will need to be removed via a small procedure in the weeks following the transplant.  

Most patients stay in hospital for four to six days after surgery, but you may need to stay longer. This is because transplanted kidneys can take up to two weeks before they begin to work normally and you may need dialysis during this time.  

During your stay, you will be cared for and monitored by our team of specialist renal nurses to ensure that you are recovering well. 

Most patients return to work within four to eight weeks. After you have recovered, you will have regular follow-ups with your consultant to ensure your new kidney is working as expected. 

Our transplant surgeon

Kidney transplant procedures are carried out by Professor Nadey Hakim, Consultant General Surgeon at Cromwell Hospital. Professor Hakim completed his surgical training at the renowned Guy’s Hospital in London and has a wealth of experience in transplant procedures.

Find out more about Professor Nadey Hakim >

Advantages and disadvantages of kidney transplants

Providing a patient is fit enough for the operation, a kidney transplant is usually the best option for those with end-stage kidney disease. However, there are both benefits and risks to the procedure, which your consultant will advise you on at your appointment.

Why choose us for your kidney transplant?

Private nephrologists in London

Based at Cromwell Hospital in west London, our consultant nephrologists are world-leading experts in kidney transplants. 

Paying for your treatment

We welcome both self-paying and insured patients.

Our locations

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