The operation: a kidney transplantation

Organ transplantation is a lifesaving therapy for patients suffering from end stage organ failure. The UMCG is the largest transplant centre in the Netherlands and is the only centre performing transplantation of all solid organs. Transplantation is a multidisciplinary treatment in which a team of specialists work closely together. To ensure optimal patient outcome, organ-specific knowledge in terms of both physiology and anatomy is essential. In addition, knowledge about donor management and optimization, donor organ preservation, post-transplantation (ICU) management and quality of life are all relevant aspects that require continuous research and development.

On average there are about 1000 kidney transplantations a year in the Netherlands, of which 180-200 are performed at the UMCG. About half of these transplanted kidneys come from a living donor. Currently 719 people are waiting for a donor kidney in the Netherlands. The number of kidney transplantations is increasing, mainly due to an increase in living donors and re operations on previously transplanted kidney recipients.

This increase in available organs is inter alia determined by the introduction of machine perfusion techniques. This technique allows assessment and resuscitation of otherwise rejected organs. With this innovative organ preservation technique, developed in the UMCG, it is possible to make more kidneys suitable for transplantation.

The impact of an organ transplant on patients is enormous. Their quality of life as well as their life expectancy increases significantly after the transplantation. With the innovative technique of machine perfusion, more organs become available for transplantation and therefore more people can be treated, waiting lists can be shortened, and maybe eventually make them belong to the past.

If you want to know more about the transplantation and perfusion techniques, visit the ISCOMS operation on Thursday the 6th of June.