Renal transplant is the treatment of choice for patients of End Stage Renal Disease. Compared to Hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, the patients live longer and overall have a better quality of life. After the 1st 2 weeks of transplant, the death rate in transplant patients is lower than patients on dialysis.
In the USA, survival recipients of living donor kidneys at 5 yrs is now 91 % while in the case of cadaver kidneys, it is 84 %. If not so well functioning kidneys (called extended donor kidneys ) are transplanted survival at 5 yrs is 70%. This does not mean that all kidneys are working, but the patients are living.
Survival is better in children and less in those over 40, men compared to women, smokers, those suffering from diabetes and heart diseases.
The death when it occurs is usually due to heart diseases or due to infections. The no of cancers also increases after transplant and this is another major cause.
Compared to normal population , renal transplant still is a serious risk for mortality. For example in US in the 1st year after transplant death risk in patients is 14 times compared to age and sex matched population.