A kidney transplant does not last for ever. The average life-span of a transplanted kidney is ten years for a deceased donor kidney, and about 12 years for a living related transplant. The average for a living unrelated transplant is somewhere between the two. So, the ‘best’ (longest lasting) kidney transplant is one from a relative, then a friend or partner, then a dead person.
Another way of looking at how long a transplanted kidney is likely to last is to look at the percentage chance that the kidney will be working at set time points.
So, younger patients may need two or more transplants in their lives. If a transplant fails, the patient can restart dialysis and go back on the transplant waiting list.
NKF Controlled Document No. 272, How long does a transplant last?, written 1 May 2000. Last reviewed 20 March 2012.
The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for information provided. The above is for guidance only. Patients are advised to seek further information from their own doctor.