The Cost Of Kidney Transplant In South Africa

The rate at which people report kidney-related cases have significantly increased in recent times. While there are cures for mild kidney diseases, kidney transplant is the core remedy for severe cases. Kidney transplant is a surgical process to place a healthy kidney from a living or dead donor into a patient whose kidneys no longer function properly.

The Cost of Kidney Transplant in South Africa

In this post, we will take a look at core facts to know about kidney transplant how much the procedure costs in South Africa.

What is the cost of kidney transplant in South Africa?

Kidney transplants are generally expensive, regardless of the where, the how and the when. Apart from the fact that the process is quite delicate, the preservation of the kidney to be transferred, either from a dead or a living being, is another strenuous process. These and much more contribute to reasons why the procedure is expensive.

Prices of kidney transplant vary. The variation is as a result of some factors which mainly include the type of kidney transplant the patient is going for, the nature and state of the donor (dead or alive), the hospital (weather government owned or private), the packages and drugs that come with the procedure, and some other similar factors. These being considered, kidney transplants in South Africa costs between R$169,200 – R$252,000.

The Cost Of Kidney Transplant In South Africa

Some of the factors that dictate the cost of kidney transplant include:

  • The type and the State of the Donor – The choice of operation you are going for largely affects how much you will spend for the process. Usually, the medical practitioner advices on the type to go for and this also depends largely on the state of the donor. There are three main types – Deceased Donor kidney transplant (which involves getting kidney from a dead human), Living Donor kidney transplant (which involves getting kidney from a dead human) and a pre-emptive kidney transplant (which entails having the kidney transplant before total failure of the kidney). The amount the various types of kidney transplant goes for vary. Usually, depending on the situation and circumstance, the medical doctor should be in the best place to advice which to go for, provided the resources are available.
  • Costs of Test Pre and Post Kidney Transplant – This is another factor that affects how much you spend on the kidney transplant, directly or indirectly. Usually, diagnosis of kidney issues that require transplant would have been as a result of several tests and examinations. You might need to consider how much the various test cost. Also, patients might be required to take numerous tests even after the transplant. Costs of tests vary; depending on the nature and the hospital, you can take a test for as low as R$36 or as high as R$1,800.
  • Type of Hospital You are Looking to Get Surgery Done – This is another core factor to consider when assessing how much kidney transplant will cost. In South Africa, there is no specified amount for kidney transplant and it largely depends on where you are doing it. Generally, the medcial procedures like this are cheaper in Federal and State hospitals, whether they are medical centres or teaching hospitals. However, the same cannot be said about Private hospitals. While some private clinics boast similar skilled and veteran medical doctors, they are way more costly than government owned hospitals.

Reasons for Kidney Transplant

Generally, kidney transplants are used for the treatment or, in some cases, prevention of kidney failures. This medical procedure can cure chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease to help patients feel much better and healthier.

The Cost Of Kidney Transplant In South Africa

Side Effects/Complications of Kidney Transplant

Like most other medical procedure, kidney transplant has its own complications. It should be noted that not all kidney transplant patients experience this. In fact, while a lot of people experience short-term complications, which clears a while after a shirt while, only a few experience more serious complications which could even involve further surgery.

Here are some of the short-term side effects people have reported over the years;


Trivial infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), colds and flu, have been reported after kidney transplants. More serious infections, which could include pneumonia and cytomegalovirus (CMV), have also been reported in few cases.

Blood clots

Blood clots can accumulate in the arteries that have been linked to the donated kidney. This happens in very rare cases

Narrowing of an artery

Contraction of the artery linked to the donated kidney (a case known as arterial stenosis) has been reported by some patients few days after kidney transplant. In some cases, the condition can mature months, or even years, after the procedure.

Blocked ureter

The tube that transports urine from the kidney to the bladder (the ureter) can become choked after a kidney transplant. This can be as a result of blood clots, and other similar reasons. Depending on the case, this can persist for days, months or even years.

Urine leakage

This is one of the rare cases reported after kidney transplant. Some have complained that urine leak from where the ureter connects the bladder after the transplant. This typically occurs during the first few months after the procedure. This process usually requires further surgery.

Acute rejection

This means that the immune system abruptly begins to work against the donated kidney because it sees it as a foreign tissue. This case is extremely rare and discomforting and should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.

Other serious complications include;

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Leave a Comment