"The Surgeon Speaks-Carlo Ramirez, MD, FACS,"
Jefferson Surgical Solutions: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: http://jdc.jefferson.edu/jss/vol5/iss1/2
Transplantation from living donors offers the best outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease. Unfortunately, only 60 percent of potential living donors are compatible with their intended recipients. Those patients without a compatible donor will have to wait on the deceased donor transplant list, which currently exceeds 85,000 patients nationally, with a median wait time of 4 years.
To facilitate living kidney donor exchanges, Jefferson has adopted a “paired-kidney donation” (or “kidney donor swap”) protocol, which will help patients with potential living donors who are incompatible for blood or tissue type. By collaborating with the Paired Donation Network, we hope to find a compatible donor-recipient pair that will make transplant possible for most of these recipients.
The surgery is identical to a standard living donor kidney transplant, but there are added considerations with a kidney exchange: the timing of the donor operations requires careful coordination to avoid an unfair exchange, where one donor donates while another potential donor does not, resulting in only one recipient getting a transplant.