Infographic: Transplant for Polycystic Kidney Disease

Two Surgeries, One Procedure.

Innovative approach speeds recovery for rare kidney disease.

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)

  • PKD is a disorder that causes numerous cysts in the kidneys.
  • Kidneys become enlarged and may cause pain.
  • Many patients with PKD will develop kidney failure.
  • Complications include high blood pressure, hernias, and aneurysms

A genetic disease often detected years later.

  • If one parent has PKD, each child has a 50% chance of getting the disease.
  • Signs and symptoms often develop between the ages of 30 and 40, by which time many people have children.

A matter of timing.

While early stage treatment for complications includes blood pressure medication or pain management, some patients may eventually need surgery.

Many PKD patients will need two surgeries.

  • Kidney Transplant: Patients will need a new, working kidney.
  • Nephrectomy: The formal name for removing a kidney. Enlarged kidneys may need to be removed to relieve pain or prevent recurring infections.

Traditionally, the surgeries were conducted separately, with months of recovery time in between.

  • Most often the new kidney was transplanted first.
  • In others, the old kidneys were removed first and the patient went on dialysis while awaiting the transplant.

Mayo Clinic can conduct both surgeries in one procedure. A minimally invasive technique is used to laparoscopically remove the diseased kidneys, and then a minor extension is made to the incision in order to place the transplanted kidney.

  • Patients don't need to endure the enlarged kidneys while awaiting removal.
  • No need for dialysis between surgeries.
  • Addresses both problems in one surgery.
  • Overall faster recovery time and return to normal life.

Living donors improve odds even more.

Experience has shown that patients who receive a living donor kidney transplant enjoy better kidney function and longer, higher quality of life.

In a living kidney transplant:

  • Matching donor is identified.
  • Surgery can be scheduled and planned.
  • Donor and recipient each end up with one functioning kidney.

No match? Try a donor chain:

  • A friend or family member can enroll in a donor chain.
  • Their kidney will go to another member of the chain who is a match.
  • That person's donor passes their kidney to another patient.
  • Multiple kidneys may be transplanted in a single chain.