Kidney Transplant

Making the Right Decision

Many options are available for people living with chronic kidney disease, including kidney transplant surgery, medical treatment and dialysis. At Barnes-Jewish, we encourage patients to learn as much as possible about kidney transplant before making a decision.

Why people get transplants

The kidneys perform the vital function of filtering waste and toxins from the body. If the kidneys fail, this function must be replaced.  Kidney dialysis is one way to remove waste from the body when the kidneys fail, and dialysis can be used as a temporary or longer-term treatment plan. Yet it is time-consuming (as many as 20 hours a week hooked up to a dialysis machine) and it disrupts everyday life, sometimes preventing patients from traveling and participating in other activities that may be important to them.

The other treatment for kidney failure is a transplant, which offers many eligible patients the chance to regain an active, healthy lifestyle. Naturally, a transplant is an important decision that takes careful consideration – and it starts with understanding your options for treating kidney disease.



  Dialysis   Kidney Transplant
Kidney Function  10-15 percent
 50-85 percent
Treatment Time Dialysis Center: 12 hours/week
Home: 12-36 hours/week
Peritoneal: 36 hours/week
Time to take anti-rejection pills; doctor visits; frequent lab draws
Dietary Restrictions Must avoid certain foods and liquids
None related to kidneys
Travel Must schedule appointment at other dialysis centers; carry or ship medical supplies Pack medication only; travel with fewer restrictions

For additional information or to begin a kidney transplant evaluation, call .

Ambrose Perkins

Ambrose Perkins was an active father and grandfather. He enjoyed his job as a bus driver, and he especially loved fishing, spending much of his free time with a rod and reel. When hypertension caused his kidneys to fail, Ambrose's doctors told him a transplant was his best bet for a normal life. Because none of his family members were donor candidates, he went on the waiting list for a donor organ. One day, as Ambrose told his boss about his condition, his friend and co-worker, Kim Monroe, overheard and offered to donate her kidney. Ambrose thought she was kidding. But Kim made an appointment to be evaluated as a donor and drove to Barnes-Jewish for an extensive work up. It turned out that Kim's kidney was a close match for Ambrose. On Nov. 15, 2005, Kim underwent a mini-nephrectomy - a minimally invasive donor procedure developed at Barnes-Jewish, and Ambrose received her healthy kidney. Both were out of the hospital within a week. Thanks to the skill of his doctors, the support of the transplant center team, and the generosity of his co-worker, Ambrose is reeling in fish once again.


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