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Patient Support and Education

Most people are born with two kidneys. They are bean-shaped organs located in the middle of the back, on either side of the spine. Each kidney weighs about five ounces and is about the size of a fist. One kidney, functioning at 20% capacity, can:

  • Clean your blood and remove waste products through the formation of urine
  • Balance fluids in the body by controlling water and salt concentrations
  • Maintain the balance of the body's chemicals (potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus)
  • Control blood pressure

Many diseases, like diabetes and high blood pressure, can cause your kidneys to malfunction, and may lead to kidney disease or failure.

Kidney transplant quality and results

  • More than 10,000 kidney transplants are performed each year.
  • 95% of people who have kidney transplants are alive after one year, compared with a 90% survival rate after the first year of dialysis.
  • If a transplanted kidney is given by a living donor, the transplantation success rate is higher than if the kidney came from a deceased person. The survival of the transplanted kidney itself is 75% to 85% at one year when it is from a deceased, unrelated donor, as compared to over 90% when the kidney is donated by a living person.

D-H Transplantation Surgery outcome data

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) publishes detailed statistics about the results experienced by Dartmouth-Hitchock transplantation patients.

View the latest SRTR report for Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital on the SRTR website.

Learn more about kidney disorders and transplantation

Follow the links below to read articles in our Dartmouth-Hitchcock Healthwise® Health Encyclopedia. Learn more about Healthwise® on our Health Encyclopedia page.

Organ transplant support organizations

Questions and answers about kidney disorders and transplantation


Page reviewed on: Oct 30, 2018

Page reviewed by: Michael F. Daily, MD, MS, FACS

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