Kidney Transplantation in India: Understanding the laws and procedure

What is Kidney Transplantation?

kidney transplantation

Kidney transplantation also known as renal transplant involves replacement of a poorly or non-functioning kidney with a new functional kidney. Individuals with end stage renal disease (ESRD), also known as kidney failure, most commonly opt for this procedure.

During ESRD, the kidneys steadily deteriorate, leading to accumulation of toxic waste within the body. Despite modern pharmacological advances, there are no drugs available for curing this condition. Therefore, patients are often left with only two treatment options: dialysis and transplantation.

  1. dialysis

    Dialysis Procedure

    Dialysis: Dialysis involves artificial filtering of blood via the dialysis machine. Although dialysis improves symptoms, this is temporary. A dialysis maybe needed 1-3 times a week, depending on the severity of kidney dysfunction. The routine hospital visits and the procedure itself hamper the quality of life of the individual.

  2. kidney_transplantKidney Transplantation: This involves replacing the failed kidney with a working kidney from another person called a donor. Compared with dialysis, patients undergoing successful kidney transplant lead a better quality of life as it gives immense freedom from the routine of dialysis. Lesser dietary restrictions make life easier too. Studies have shown that people with kidney transplantation live longer than those who undergo dialysis.

 Types of kidney transplantation

Kidney transplant operations are of two types:

  1. Living Donor Kidney Transplant: When the kidney is donated by a living person, it is called living donor kidney transplant. He/ she can be someone in the immediate family viz, spouse, sibling, parents or children or from extended family viz aunt/uncle, cousin, niece or nephew or a friend who strongly wishes to donate kidney to the patient out of love and compassion.
  2. Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant: When the kidney is taken from a dead person, it is called deceased donor kidney transplant. An individual may choose to donate his kidney upon death. Such a person is called a deceased donor. The kidney is collected for transplant after the person expires. If the individual had not consented to donate his/ her organs before death, the family members can decide if the organs can used for transplant.

Who can undergo Kidney Transplantation?

When the condition of a person deteriorates to an extent where he/she needs to undergo dialysis, a kidney transplant may be suggested by doctors. Whether you are fit enough for a transplant does not only depend on your age, but several other factors also need to be considered. Following is a list of factors considered before opting for the procedure:

  1. Health status of the individuals, both the donor and recipient, in case of a live donor. It is important that they have the strength to cope with this highly invasive surgery
  2. Severity of Progressive or irreversible renal disease
  3. Presence of active malignancy or infection
  4. Children who have an irreversible or chronic kidney failure can opt for transplantation if kidney function is less than 10%
  5. Absence of any systemic disease that would severely limit rehabilitation
  6.  Life expectancy of more than 5 years after a successful transplant
  7.  Effective family or social support systems
  8.  Willingness to comply with the treatment and follow-up requirements
  9. Older people and people with diseases can have a successful kidney transplant, but a careful evaluation is needed to understand and deal with any specific risks.
  10. People with type 1 diabetes can also opt for a pancreas transplant with a kidney transplant.

What to do if you need Kidney Transplant?

You need to consult a qualified renal surgeon for the transplantation process. He/she will refer you to a transplant center for evaluation. You can also contact a transplant center of your choice.

What is Transplant Rejection?

Sometimes, the body may react unfavourably to the newly transplanted kidney. The recipient’s immune system may consider the donated kidney as “foreign” and initiate an auto-immune reaction against it. To avoid this rejection, the person is given anti-rejection medication (immunosuppressants) by the doctor till the donor’s kidney is accepted by the recipient’s body.

What are the chances that the transplanted kidney will function normally?

The success rate of kidney transplantation depends upon various factors. Generally, the chances that a transplanted kidney will work normally are 89-95% for 1 year, 70% for 5 years and 50% for 15 years. Improvement in these numbers is seen as a result of continuous research carried out in this domain. Furthermore, the outcome of kidney transplant is improving with advances in immunosuppressing medications.

Advantages of Kidney Transplant

  • Improves quality of life and reduces risk of death
  • Freedom from dialysis
  • Increased energy and time to spend with family
  • Patient no longer feels as being chronically ill
  • Near complete relief from symptoms like body swelling, itching, weight gain
  • No more intense dietary restrictions

Kidney donation laws in India


The laws related to organ donation and transplantation in India, Transplantation of Human Organ Act, was passed in 1994. In India, only a close relative is allowed to donate his/her kidney to the patient.  A close relative (spouse/ children/ parents/siblings/ grandparents/ grandchildren) if donating kidney to the relative need permission of the doctor in-charge of the hospital where kidney transplant happens.

If the donor is known to the family, but is not a close relative, they have to take permission from the Government. This is a precautionary measure taken to ensure that the donation is not taking place for financial gains. For donation from a deceased person, all patients are put on a transplant list and intimated once an organ donor is available.

If both the donor and patient are foreigners, they need to submit their case to Zonal Transplant Committee with appropriate documents that prove the donor and the recipient are related to each other and there is no financial transaction involved.

Why should you choose to get Kidney transplant in India?

India is extremely well equipped for kidney transplant surgery because of the available cutting-edge clinical solutions, extraordinary patient care, and world class infrastructure. Kidney transplant is a highly complex surgical procedure that needs skilled and experienced transplant surgeons,  methodical and caring technical staff, and cutting-edge technology. All of this can be found under one roof in India.

How much does Kidney Transplant Cost in India?

Kidney transplantation costs in India are very low as compared to several other countries like Singapore, U.S., and U.K. Thus, India has become one of the most recommended destinations for medical tourism. The average cost of Kidney transplant in India in India is around USD 15,000.

Several people from developed countries travel to India each year to avail the benefits of high-quality, low cost medical treatments. Numerous high-end hospitals are present in all parts of the country, and special attention is given to the needs of a medical tourist.

IndiCure is the most renowned medical tourism company offering Kidney transplant in India at best hospitals for kidney transplant at most affordable cost.

We offer complete assistance to foreign patients for Kidney transplant in India including documentation, visa assistance, accommodation, inland transfers and everything you need while availing kidney transplant surgery in India.

For more information, write to us at or call us at +91-932-003-6777 (India number) or +1-877-270-2448 (US Toll Free) or talk to us at Skype @ Indicure