How To Estimate the Cost of Kidney Transplant Surgery

Transplanting organ

There is very little printed or published information about the costs of renal transplants, kidney dialysis, pancreas surgery, and post surgery, and much less information about organ donation, kidney donors, or kidney donation, and kidney rejection. Expenses for kidney transplant surgery usually include hospital expenses for the hospital room selected, the operating room, supplies, fees of the staff, nurse, surgeon and medications provided in the hospital like anesthesia. Additional expenses would include ICU expenses if needed, after patient care and the cost of medications after surgery.

A study conducted by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine on kidney transplant patients who have received kidneys during the period March 1996 to December 1998, showed it was cheaper to have a kidney transplant than to keep a patient on regular dialysis. Even the older and high risk patients with heart disease and diabetes, still spent less with a transplant. Kidney transplant costs have drastically gone down that the study conducted showed that patients who have stayed on dialysis for over 2 1/2 years spent more than the patients who chose to have a transplant.

Research online shows a few sources that have shared the following costs of Kidney transplant surgery for your reference.

  • Kidney dialysis averages about $44,000 per patient per year using 1993 figures from the University of Maryland.
  • Kidney transplant surgery and medical care for the first year following surgery was at $89,939 in 1993. After the first year, the average cost for medications to prevent rejection is at $16,043 per year.
  • Kidney transplant procedures according to Emory can range from $25,000 to $150,000.
  • Health Care Technology gave the cost of a kidney transplant at $38,000
  • A kidney transplant UCLA in 2007 was well over $150,000 including ICU exp.enses and a nephrectomy done.
  • Another figure posted was at $40,000 with hospital stay and medication after surgery at over $2,000 a month.
  • In India, a kidney transplant surgery costs approximately $16,500 to $20,000 for a 10 day stay. The company helps coordinate with the hospital and arranges for the patients stay and air travel.
  • In the United Kingdom kidney transplant surgery costs £35,000 while haemodialysis costs around £32,000 for one year. Most kidney transplant patients get free medicines.

The study conducted by the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine published in the journal, Transplantation, in December 1998 determined that after around 2 years and 8 months, a patient who opted for a transplant instead of continuous kidney dialysis saved $27,000 per year in expenses. The major saving came from:

  • The shorter stay of the patient in the hospital from an average of 10 days to just 7 days after the transplant.
  • Lesser use of anti-rejection drugs intravenously given in the hospital after an operation. Cheaper oral anti-rejection medicines that a patient can take at home are now readily available.
  • Use of living donor kidneys for transplants that function better after the surgery, than kidneys taken from cadaver kidney donors.

Facts also further show that 1/3 of patients are now discharged to go home within three days of a kidney transplant surgery with less risk of re-admission than the previous years' findings.

Like most medical procedures, including renal transplants, pancreas surgery, organ donations, and kidney donations, the cost of kidney dialysis, kidney transplant surgery, post operations and kidney rejection will all depend on the actual medical status of the patient, the availability of kidney donor, and the choice of medical procedure and hospital in which the patient chooses to have the surgery.


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