Kidney transplant or renal transplant is the process where a kidney is surgically removed from a donor and implanted into the patient. The patient may receive a kidney from a family member, a spouse or a close friend. They are known as living-related donors.
The most compatible match is usually a sibling, as their genetic make-up may closely match. Living-donor renal transplants are further characterised as genetically related (living-related) or non-related (living-unrelated) transplants, depending on whether a biological relationship exists between the donor and recipient.
In addition, the patient can also receive a kidney from a recently deceased person, known as a cadaveric donor or deceased-donor. Transplant is by far the best means of treatment, as the “replacement kidney” can substitute almost fully the lost functions of the failed kidneys, and allow the patient to lead a normal life.