I am really interested in how long a transplanted kidney will last. I have read various articles about this, but don't have many real life stories to go on. I did read an article about one man whose transplanted kidney from a live donor lasted 22 years and was still going when the article was written.. My son received his kidney & pancreas from a cadaver donor and his kidney began failing at 6-1/2 years, but the pancreas is still working fine. He is awaiting a new kidney from a live donor who is being tested.
I have read that cadaver organs generally last 7 to 15 years. And another member here who has a kidney from a live donor has had his kidney for 17 years.
So would others be interested in posting here to say how long your kidney or other organ has lasted and whether it is from a living donor or a cadaver donor.
Many thanks for all who share information, which really gives us all a better perspective and hope.

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Hi, My first kidney lasted 22 years from a living donor (my oldest brother). My second transplant has lasted 2 years so far from my other brother. I have met a few people who have had there kidney's for over 30 years. Brian.

As I'm sure you know, no one can tell you how long any transplanted organ will last. It varies tremendously with time, circumstance, health of the donor, overall health of the recipient, antigen match, immune suppression regimen, and many other factors.

However, the ESRD networks collect data on all recipients who are covered under the Medicare program. Data on individual patients are not publicly available (as itshould not be) due to patient confidentiality regulations and statutes. I can say that although I haven't worked for the program in 10 years, at that time we had a very few patients in our ESRD Network database who had functioning kidneys after 28-29 years. We had quite a few (out of thousands) who had kidneys in the 15-20 year range.

That is particularly amazing when you consider that when those recipients were transplanted the medical system really only had prednisone as an immune suppression therapy. Virtually all of those recipients (who would have been transplanted in the late 1960s through mid-1970s) had cadaveric donors.

With today's transplant medications, it seems very possible that a recipient could do very well for more than 15 years if he or she is on the right immunosuppresive regimen, takes very good care of themselves, and doesn't take up bullfighting for a hobby.

I'm on 18+ years and counting on a simultaneous kidney/pancreas transplant.

Hi Diana, Robin here. I am working on 17 years with this kidney. What a ride it has been. The first transplant was from my father but they thought the match was so good that would not put me on cyclosporin. That was a mistake...I lost it in 12 days. This one was from a cadaver donor. I feel great. I hope one day to be a statistic in how long a transplanted kidney can last. All the best. Robin
Hi Robin and to both you Brians,
Thanks for sharing your stories; it is very helpful to hear about other transplant results and about the things that went wrong or right. I certainly do understand that every person and transplant situaiton is different, but your stories give hope to those who need the encouragement to get through some tough times, and encouragement to look forward to a better future.
I am so glad to hear how well all of you are doing!
Againk, thanks for sharing.
My son's live donor has only one more test to be completed before they set the surgery date at UC San Francisco Medical Center where he received his first kidney (and pancreas) in 1998. He has been on hemodialysis for 3-1/2 years since the kidney failed.
Hi Diana....I have had my kidney for 36 1/2 years. The Quarter Century Club, which is represented on this forum, has over 55 members who have had their transplant for over 25 years, most of us over 30 years. We have talked to many more qualifying members who haven't signed up yet. I don't think we have been included in any data collection, otherwise more people would be aware of our successes. When I attended the transplant games in Pittsburgh this summer, we signed on a new member from Utah who just celebrated 44 years with his kidney. Brian is correct about the variables in transplant success, and it is amazing that we had only prednisone/Imuran therapy....... but it sure has worked for all of us. By the way, I received my kidney from my dad. I think that our club is about half and half with living/non-living donors. We were very restricted with our living donor options at that time.....mother, father, sibling...that was it. The thought of a non-related living donor was like science fiction. Although what we have achieved with our longevity in our group is a very small percentage of the transplant community, it is still important to know that it can happen. Best wishes to all of you, and may your gift keep on giving.
Hi Barb,
That is so wonderful to hear. I had no idea there was a group on this website for a quarter century club! And I certainly agree "best wishes to all of you, and may your gift keep on giving". Thank you also for sharing.

What a wonderful post! Thank you so much! It is immensely encouraging to everyone to learn about the Quarter Century Club and those of you who have exceeded 30 yrs!  Being an older person already, I compare my body to an old car now when parts need repairs. My latest diagnosis was some glaucoma in my right eye - I laughed when I was told all I had to do was use stinging eyedrops twice a day.  Piece of cake!!  Being alive is such a gift and after each of us having experienced such  intense challenges in our pasts, for me, at least, it's easy to take the rest of the road bumps in stride :)

Personally, I've never looked into how long any transplanted organ will last. However, my first kidney transplant lasted five years before it rejected. On December, 13 of 1984 I received my second kidney transplant (both were from deceased donors) and this one (knock on wood) has worked fine since. I just celebrated my kidneys 24th Anniversary, and looking forward to as many more years as possible.
Thank you so much for sharing. I guess every situation is different and every person is different; and you can never know for sure how long a transplant will last. I am so glad for you that you have done so well on this second transplant! Wishing you continued good health.

You know, much of the transplant success stories we hear about now are due to the advances the transplant docs have made and the new anti-rejection protocols being tailored to each patient according to their lab results.  The only rejections that have not been resolved at my hospital in the past few yrs have been those patients who were non-compliant and did not report their symptoms until it was too late to reverse the damage. Most of those, I heard, were due to not drinking the prescribed amount of fluid daily and being lax about taking meds. My transplant team is pretty confident that if they treat it soon enough, they can restore a balky transplanted kidney to full viability.  Of course, there are other factors for some of us with additional health complications. I don't mean to generalize - we are all individuals. Years ago I was friends with a transplant recipient who told me how he got a cadaveric kidney and took so much prednisone he swelled up for the first few years, but by the time I met him, he was slim and strong and could dance all night and was no longer on the steroids.

I am 16 and i recieved my kidney at the age of six, march of 99. my mom gave me her kidney, and has almost been ten year s. Little to no complications (knock on wood)
Hi. I have had two kidney transplants. The first lasted a little over 19 years and the second one is almost 5.5 years out and stll going strong. A friend of mine is nearing 27 years out. A lot depends on the person, and I believe attitude has a lot to do with it as well.

The main thing is just take life a day at a time cause in reality none of us, healthy or othwise are promised tomorrow. Take care and good luck!




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