Highly sensitized kidney transplant surgery
To increase the availability of kidneys from living donors for kidney transplants, North Shore-LIJ Health System offers highly sensitized kidney transplantation surgery.
Approximately one-third of kidney failure patients have a highly sensitized immune system with strong antibodies (the cells that fight off germs or foreign tissues) that would attack the donor's kidney even if the tissue and blood types were a perfect match.
With highly sensitized kidney transplantation, those patients can undergo a “desensitization” procedure (a combination of medications and plasmapheresis treatments) prior to the transplant to decrease the possibility that their body might reject the donor kidney.
In the short term, patients who have undergone highly sensitized kidney transplant surgery have a slightly higher risk of acute rejection and possible loss of the donor kidney. However, current data implies that there is no significant difference in long-term patient or graft survival.