Advantage of Pre-emptive Transplants
The term, “pre-emptive transplant” is used to describe the circumstances when someone has a kidney transplant prior to going on dialysis. This of course, requires you to have a suitable and pre-qualified compatible living donor. Since the series of pre-evaluation tests for the recipient and donor can take weeks or months, you will need time to have these tests performed.
Let your doctor know that if it is likely that you will need a kidney transplant, you would like to try and avoid being on kidney dialysis. Generally speaking, doctors tell their patients that they will need a kidney a transplant when their GFR is 20. (Glomular Filtration Rate, a measurement of your kidney function.) It is not uncommon for someone with a GFR of 20 to start dialysis within 3 or 6 months, so it is preferable to have more time to pursue the living donation process.
Kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment for end-stage renal disease because it improves not only the patient's survival compared with dialysis, but also the quality of life.
A successful kidney transplant triples life expectancy compared with someone remaining on dialysis. Also, the relative risk of death following transplantation was greatest in patients aged 50 to 59 years who were on kidney dialysis. Patients with diabetes had a 67% lower risk of mortality at one year compared with those who remained on dialysis.
Even for someone that is on dialysis, the less time they spent on dialysis the better the outcomes.