Post-transplant protocol for kidney transplant involves ensuring the kidney is not rejected.
Although there are many factors (age, ethnicity, length of time on dialysis) that can effect a patient’s care post-transplant, a well matched kidney from a close relative (e.g., parent) can be expected to function adequately (not normally, but well enough to keep the patient off dialysis) for approximately 15 years.
Graft survival for a kidney from an unrelated donor (cadaver) is about 10 years. In either case, the range of graft survival is wide-ranging, from less than three days to greater than 30 years. Very short graft survival usually results from surgical mishaps or thrombosis (blood clot) of the renal vessels, which is most common in infants and young children.
In decades past, renal grafts were occasionally lost to hyperacute rejection before the recipient had left the operating room. This is no longer a threat since a cross match (testing for recipient antibodies against the donor kidney) is always performed just before the transplant.