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Understanding Transplantation

A transplant replaces a failed or damaged organ or tissue with a healthy one. People may need transplants because disease, injury, or an inherited defect causes organ failure. Despite tremendous progress over the years, several major barriers remain to the overall success of transplantation. While survival rates after transplantation surgery have improved markedly, there has been little improvement in reversing long-term declines in the function of transplanted organs. Transplant recipients have a shorter life expectancy compared to the general population due, in part, to the accelerated cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, infection, and cancer associated with the use of immunosuppressive drugs.

Last Updated January 21, 2015