Kidney transplantation is the preferred method of treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease. The excellent results of kidney transplantation enable patients to live more normal, productive and potentially longer lives than if they remained on dialysis. Kidney transplantation can benefit a wide range of patients of all ages, from infants to older adults.

Kidneys for transplantation can come from two sources: deceased organ donors or living kidney donors.

Living kidney donors are preferred because of the improved success rate of transplantation. Living kidney donors may either be related or unrelated to the recipient. The option for a donor swap has increase the likelihood of obtaining a living donor transplant.

The availability of a living donor will reduce the waiting time for a suitable donor. This is often the only option for a transplant prior to starting dialysis.