A living person can donate one of their kidneys. The donor and recipient will ideally be close relatives as this helps to lower the risk that the donated kidney will be rejected. Kidney donations are also possible from donors who are recently deceased.
Sometimes combined kidney-pancreas transplants can be performed (see PANCREAS TRANSPLANT).
What do the kidneys do?
The main role of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood, and convert them to urine which is sent to the bladder.
The kidneys also help to maintain the correct levels of chemicals in the body, control blood pressure, produce a type of vitamin D to keep bones healthy and produce a substance called erythropoietin (“eh-reeth-ruh-poet-in”), which helps produce red blood cells.
Blood vessels take blood in (renal artery) and out (renal vein) of the kidney. The ureter takes urine from the kidney to the bladder