Two-for-One Kidney Transplant

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Unused Kidneys

Transplant centers, for good reason, choose donor kidneys that will most likely succeed in transplant recipients. This means that many kidneys are rejected, deemed too worn and old to promise much use. Other rejected kidneys come from donors with:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Scarring from biopsy

By themselves, these kidneys don’t have the ability to work for a recipient for very long.

Two-for-One Kidneys

Not ideal alone, these overused, worn kidneys can provide several years of healthy function if transplanted as a pair. This option uses kidneys that would otherwise go to waste. And it gives life-saving chances to people on dialysis who would have to wait years or so for a single, younger kidney.

Most transplant centers don’t perform these types of transplants. At UVA, we’ve done these procedures with good outcomes by ensuring the right match between the kidneys and the recipient.

The Right Kidney for the Right Patient

When a transplant center gets the 2-for-1 kidneys, we can choose the recipient who would get the most use out of it. (Normally, the wait list managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) determines who is next to receive a kidney transplant.)

Our surgeons aim to maximize this transplant opportunity by reducing the risks of complication and rejection as much as possible. This involves:

  • Limiting the time donor organs sit on ice by having a recipient ready when the kidney pair arrives
  • Planning for a smooth, simple operation
  • Choosing a recipient whose body will most likely accept the kidneys

Find out if you're a candidate for this kind of dual kidney transplant.