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Kidney Transplant Options

If you or someone you love needs a kidney transplant, you may have questions about your options or how long you will need to wait for a kidney. At the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, we explore every opportunity and resource to match transplant recipients with a suitable kidney. 

As science has progressed, our transplant specialists understand more about kidney donor matching. This knowledge allows us to pursue multiple innovative approaches to living kidney donor matching. Our innovation leads to more transplant options – and more successful kidney transplants – than any other center in the St. Louis region. 

Kidney Transplant Options and Advantages

Thanks to our ongoing research and innovation, we offer multiple avenues to find a suitable kidney for our patients. These options include:

  • Deceased kidney donor transplant: Most kidney transplants today use kidneys from deceased donors. Though patients in some parts of the country may wait as long as seven years for a deceased kidney, our average wait time is between three and four years. Patients receive wait time based on their dialysis start date, or the date they are added to the transplant waiting list.
  • Living kidney donor transplant: Our specialists make every attempt to match our kidney transplant patients with a suitable living kidney donor. We can often find a solution even if your preferred donor is not an ideal match for you. In that case, we pursue other options for living kidney donor transplant, such as:
    • Paired-donor kidney transplant: Sometimes a patient may have a friend or relative who wants to donate a kidney, but their organ isn’t suitable for that particular patient. A paired-donor program can increase your chances (and potentially decrease your wait) for a transplant. Learn more about paired-donor kidney transplant.
    • Incompatible-donor kidney transplant: Our doctors’ extensive experience has given them a wealth of knowledge about donor matching. Today, they are often able to perform a transplant even when the donor’s blood or tissue type is not a match for the recipient. These transplants have identical success rates to our other living donor transplants. Read more about our incompatible-donor kidney transplant.
  • Kidney-pancreas transplant: Our transplant specialists are also experienced in multi-organ transplantation. In fact, patients receiving a kidney-pancreas transplant often have more successful outcomes than patients who received a kidney transplant alone. If you have type 1 diabetes and kidney failure, learn more about the benefits of a kidney-pancreas transplant.

In general, a kidney from a living donor lasts longer and functions better than an organ from a deceased donor, with minimal risks and drawbacks to the kidney donor. If you or someone you know is interested in kidney donation, learn more about how to become a kidney donor.

Contact Us

For more information about the kidney transplant program at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, call 855.925.0631.