Kidney failure and transplant options
One of the most serious complications of polycystic kidney disease is kidney failure. This is when the kidneys are no longer able to filter waste products, maintain fluid balance, and maintain blood pressure on their own. When this occurs, your doctor will discuss options with you that may include a kidney transplant or dialysis treatments to act as artificial kidneys.
If your doctor does place you on a kidney transplant list, there are several factors that determine your placement. These include your overall health, expected survival, and time you have been on dialysis. It’s also possible that a friend or relative could donate a kidney to you. Because people can live with only one kidney with relatively few complications, this can be an option for families who have a willing donor.
The decision to undergo a kidney transplant or donate a kidney to a person with kidney disease can be a difficult one. Speaking to your nephrologist can help you weigh your options. You can also ask what medications and treatments can help you live as well as possible in the meantime. According to the University of Iowa, the average kidney transplant will allow kidney function from 10 to 12 years.