Categories: Nephrology

Why Living donor Kidney Transplant is better than deceased donor kidney transplant?

Everyone has a pair of kidneys located on the posterior abdominal wall below ribs. The normal function of the kidney includes filtering the nutrients out of human blood and excreting urine.

Sometimes kidney loses its ability to function normally. When the extent of its function is lost by 90%, it is known as end-stage kidney failure. Such patients need dialysis machine to remove waste and stay alive. Kidney Transplant is a restorative treatment that reinstates normal body functions by placing a functional kidney in the patient.

Kidney Transplant can happen in three ways

  1. Living Donor Transplant– Living-kidney donation is the commonest type of transplant. Anyone kidney of a healthy individual is donated and the other kidney can make the required functions.
  2. Paired kidney exchange– When you have a living donor available but the issue concerned is incompatibility, another similar pair is found and exchange is made.
  3. Deceased donor transplant– When a person dies due to any cause and the guardian decides to donate their organs. This also happens in brain death cases.

The likely life span of a deceased kidney donor transplant is 10-15 years. It may be more or less depending on various factors.

The bigger question

Why is Living donor kidney transplant better than deceased donor kidney transplant

Let’s look into the matter rationally

S No Factors Living Donor Deceased Donor
1 Rejection after Surgery Minimal Can happen
2 Waiting Time for Transplant Immediately According to the nationalized list of candidates waiting for a transplant.

Around 20 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant

3 Longevity (How long the kidney last) Twice as long as deceased 10-15 years
4 Kidney Health before surgery Better Kept in cold preservation

Travel time affects its functionality leading to complications

5 Post-Surgical functional achievement Reported to function soon after anastomosis Takes days to fully function


6 Post-Surgical requirement of dialysis Not required (less than 4% cases) Patient may require dialysis till full functionality is achieved
7 Social and Financial Impact -Planned therefore very less

-One less person from the list to receive transplant

-Surgical cost for otherwise healthy donor

– Cost of hospital stay post-surgery

Emergency Procedures involving huge manpower and money
8 Life Expectancy A lot more Lesser than living donor
9 Complications to the donor Pain




Blood clot (DVT)

Infected wound

Anxiety or    depression

Donor is Deceased
10 Complications to the recipient Less likely More complications like




Blood clot (DVT)

Infected wound



11 Need for Re-Transplant Not required After 15-20 years may be required
12 Outcomes Better than Deceased Donor Not as good as Living Donor

Well, after going through all the aspects of living and deceased kidney donation you can decide which one is better and healthier. The most emerging fact is that kidney transplants are much needed. Various studies suggest that life expectancy for a living donor is the same as for similar people who haven’t donated. Some studies suggest living kidney donors may have a somewhat higher risk of kidney failure in the future. But this risk is still lesser than the average risk of kidney failure in the general population. I understand that it is difficult to donate an organ even to a loved one. But looking at the bigger picture makes our hitches seem smaller. You will just remember it as a good and gratifying reminiscence. Step up…

Dr. Suman Lata Nayak Prof, Director & Senior Consultant – Nephrology, Kidney Transplant – Adult | Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi & Gurugram – Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram

Narayana Health

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