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Surgeons performing a kidney transplant operation

Surgeons performing a kidney transplant operation

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Credit

ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Kidney transplant. Surgeons performing a kidney transplant operation. Kidney transplants are performed in cases where the patient's kidneys no longer function correctly, or when a kidney is cancerous, and has to be removed to prevent the cancer spreading. Kidneys for donation can be kept alive for several days outside the body by keeping them cool and sterile. Kidney transplantation is the simplest and most commonly performed organ transplant, and it has a very high success rate. Successful recipients must take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection of the new kidney.

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