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Chronic Kidney Failure May Require a Transplant

Couple smilingChronic kidney failure – also known as chronic kidney disease – refers to a progressive loss of kidney function over a prolonged period of time, usually several years, eventually causing the kidneys to cease to function.

Often this condition goes undetected until the kidney deterioration has advanced to the point of requiring immediate treatment, potentially including a kidney transplant. In most cases, effectively preventing kidney failure is contingent on identifying and addressing the underlying cause of the kidney deterioration, such as:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney disease
  • Exposure to certain toxins
  • Other similar causes

While some of these underlying causes can often be managed effectively with lifestyle changes, medication, and other treatments, when a patient advances to chronic kidney failure, dialysis or transplant is required. When the kidneys are functioning normally, they filter the blood stream, removing toxins, minerals, and other waste. When kidney function is diminished the organs are not as effective at removing these waste products in the blood stream, which can eventually lead to a severely weakened immune system, fluid retention in the lungs, and heart failure. This is why maintaining good kidney health is so important, especially when chronic kidney disease can be so hard to detect.

Some symptoms of chronic kidney failure include:

  • Dark urine or urine with blood in it
  • Fatigue
  • Hypertension
  • Itchy skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Back pain
  • Losing weight without trying

If chronic kidney failure occurs, a patient must receive immediate dialysis to offset the loss of kidney function, and a transplant may be required. At Tampa General Hospital’s Kidney Transplant Program, our multidisciplinary team performs an average of 200 transplants a year, and our hospital has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Hospitals for Nephrology.

Our team also consults for Tampa General’s other organ transplant programs, benefiting patients who require multi-organ transplants, as is often seen with chronic kidney disease.

For more information about Tampa General Hospital’s Kidney Transplant Program and about our selection criteria for people with chronic kidney failure and other severe kidney conditions, please call 1-800-505-7769 (press 5 for the kidney transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-8686.