When kidneys cease to function well enough, due to chronic kidney failure or as a result of a renal disease, one of the treatments is a kidney transplant. This is a surgical procedure in which a new healthy kidney is transplanted into your body. There are two types of kidney transplants; living donor transplants and cadaveric transplants. Living donor transplants involve a kidney from a live donor, usually a blood relative, such as a member of your close family. Donors can live normal lives with one kidney, and there are few risks to healthy donors. Cadaveric transplants are transplants from non-living donors. A healthy kidney from someone who has died suddenly is transplanted into your body. The waiting list for this type of transplant, however, is longer than when using a live donor, and cadaveric transplants have a slightly lower success rate.
The transplanted kidney may start functioning normally immediately, or over a space of several weeks; living donor kidneys usually starting sooner than cadaveric ones, and dialysis may be necessary until the new kidney starts functioning properly.
The Renal Transplantation Unit at the American University of Beirut Medical Center is a multi-disciplinary program involving the Division of Urology, the Division of Nephrology and Renal Diseases, infectious diseases and the Department of Immunology. The Transplantation Unit has performed over 120 renal transplants with success rates exceeding 95% at 3 years. The Division of Urology at AUBMC was the first in the Arab world to perform laparoscopic donor nephrectomy for living related transplantation in the year 2000. At that time, the procedure was performed only in
a few major centers in the USA (University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University and Northwestern University) and had not been even popularized in the UK, France or Germany. Several keynote presentations, as well as 5 peer reviewed publications have been generated from the unit in this domain in the past 2 years. Lastly, the Renal Transplantation Unit has introduced newer immunosuppressive protocols and applied them prospectively on its patient population. The Unit has worked closely with the staff at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Healthcare Organ Transplantation Unit in the administration of immunosuppressives, immune monitoring and followup of patients.