The kidneys remove excess water, the final products of the metabolic process and various toxins from the body and expel them as urine. They also help to regulate acid-base homeostasis. The kidneys also produce hormones needed for haematopoiesis (formation of the cellular components that make up the blood) and regulating blood pressure.
Medical conditions that may lead to transplantation
A breakdown in kidney function (renal failure) can be replicated by means of dialysis (removal of waste matter from the blood). The patients must undergo a dialysis session lasting several hours three times a week: the strain, the dependence and possible complications constitute a major challenge for the people concerned. Transplantation offers a long-term improvement on all these inconveniences and thus to a patient’s overall quality of life. Either the donor’s right or left kidney is transplanted into the recipient’s lower abdomen. It is common practice to simply leave the old kidneys in the recipient’s body.
More information on this topic: Kidney transplantation (in german).