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How Overseas Patients Get a Kidney Transplant in India: A Complete Guide

Jul 18, 2023

Kidney Transplant

Title picture for guide to kidney transplant in India

Kidney Transplant in India

Kidney transplantation is a surgery to replace a diseased or damaged kidney with a healthy one from a donor. It is a life-saving treatment for people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kidney transplantation can improve the quality of life and life expectancy of people with ESRD.

Getting a kidney transplant in India can be a complex and challenging process, but it is also a viable option for many people. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how an overseas patient can get a kidney transplant in India. The guide covers the following topics:

  • Why choose to get kidney transplant in India?
  • Eligibility criteria for kidney transplant in India
  • Legal requirements for kidney transplant in India
  • Cost of kidney transplant in India
  • Best hospitals for kidney transplant in India
  • Risks and complications of kidney transplant
  • Aftercare and follow-up for kidney transplant
  • Important tips to help you prepare for travelling to India for a kidney transplant

Why choose to get Kidney Transplant in India?

Kidney transplantation is a complex procedure that can relieve patients of end-stage kidney disease. In some of the top hospitals In India, the procedure is performed by highly skilled kidney transplant surgeons using advanced technology and providing excellent patient care. There are several reasons why patients choose India for kidney transplantation, including:

  • Highly skilled and experienced nephrologists and surgeons
  • Well-equipped hospitals with the latest technology
  • English-speaking medical and paramedical staff
  • Translator services for patients who do not speak English
  • Patient convenience amenities such as coffee lounges, money changers, and travel desks
  • Low cost of medications due to India's status as a bulk exporter of drugs
  • Lower cost of kidney transplant in India than in Western countries
  • No waiting list for live donor transplant patients
  • India is a one-stop shop for high-quality, quick, and affordable kidney transplantation

Eligibility criteria for kidney transplant in India

Kidney transplant is a major surgery that can be life-saving for people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, there are some eligibility criteria that you must meet in order to be considered for a kidney transplant in India.

The eligibility criteria include:

  • You must have ESRD that requires dialysis or will require dialysis soon.
  • You must not have any active infections, cancers, or other serious diseases that could affect the outcome of the transplant.
  • You must not have any history of drug or alcohol abuse or psychiatric disorders that could impair your compliance with the treatment.
  • You must not have any severe cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases that could increase the risk of surgery or anesthesia.
  • You must have a compatible blood type and tissue type with the donor.
  • You must have a suitable donor who is willing and able to donate a kidney.
  • You must have adequate financial and social support to cover the cost and care of the transplant.

The evaluation process for kidney transplant in India will include a thorough physical examination, routine blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests, and functional analysis of your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs. The doctors will also assess your overall health and fitness to undergo the surgery.

Legal requirements for kidney transplant in India

Kidney donation can be done by living donors or deceased donors. Living donors are people who voluntarily donate one of their kidneys to someone in need. Deceased donors are people who have died and whose organs are harvested for transplantation.

The majority of kidney transplant in India are performed with living donor. In India, living donors can only be related to the recipient. This means that the donor and recipient must be blood relatives. So, the patient must bring a living donor who should be a close relative of the patient.

Related donors need to obtain a certificate from a hospital committee that verifies their relationship with the recipient and their consent for donation.

Cost of kidney transplant in India

The cost of a kidney transplant in India can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of donor, the hospital, the surgeon, the medications, and any complications that may arise. The average cost of a kidney transplant in a private hospital in India is between ₹400,000 and ₹700,000.

The major components of the cost of a kidney transplant include:

  • Pre-transplant evaluation and tests
  • Donor evaluation and tests
  • Surgery charges
  • Hospital charges
  • Medications
  • Post-transplant follow-up and tests

In addition to these direct costs, there may also be some indirect costs, such as travel expenses, accommodation expenses, and loss of income. It is important to note that the cost of a kidney transplant can vary significantly depending on the specific circumstances of each case.

Best hospitals for kidney transplant in India

India has many hospitals that offer kidney transplant services, but not all of them provide the same level of quality care. Hence, it is important to carefully by considering the following factors and choose among the best hospitals for kidney transplant in India:

  • The experience and reputation of the nephrologist and the transplant surgeon.
  • The success rate and survival rate of the transplant.
  • The accreditation and certification of the hospital.
  • The facilities and infrastructure of the hospital.
  • The infection control and hygiene practices of the hospital.
  • The post-transplant care and support services of the hospital.

Risks and complications of kidney transplant

Kidney transplant is a major surgery that carries some risks and complications. The most common risks are bleeding or infection at the surgical site, damage to the surrounding organs or blood vessels, blood clots or embolism, rejection of the donor kidney by the immune system, and side effects of immunosuppressive drugs such as diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis.

The risk and severity of these complications depend on a number of factors, including the age, health, and lifestyle of the recipient and the donor, the quality and compatibility of the donor kidney, and the skill and expertise of the surgeon. You must talk to your nephrologist in India about the risks and complications of kidney transplant before making a decision.

Aftercare and follow-up for kidney transplant

After a successful kidney transplant in India, you will need to stay in the country for 6-8 weeks for follow-up care with your nephrologist. This is to ensure that your kidney is healing properly and that you are healthy enough to travel back home.

After a kidney transplant, it is important to follow a strict regimen of aftercare and follow-up to ensure the proper functioning and longevity of your new kidney. This includes taking your immunosuppressive drugs regularly, monitoring your blood pressure and other vital signs, following a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding smoking and other harmful substances, practicing good hygiene, getting regular vaccinations, and avoiding exposure to sunlight.

You will also need to regularly consult your doctor with suggested blood tests, urine tests etc. to regularly monitor the health of new kidney. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your new kidney will last for many years to come. After you return home from India following a successful kidney transplant, you can connect with your Indian nephrologist if you have any questions or concerns.

Important tips to help you prepare for travelling to India for a kidney transplant

  • Finding a living donor: The majority of kidney transplants in India are performed with living donors. The donor must be a close relative of the patient, such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling. If the donor is not a close relative, the patient will need to obtain legal clearance from the committee.
  • Getting legal clearance: There is a legal procedure for kidney transplantation in India. You would need to prove that the donor and patient are closely related to each other with documentary evidence. Close relatives include spouse, parents or children or siblings. Special permission from the committee needs to be taken if the donor is not related to the patient as mentioned above.
  • Bringing medical records: It is important to bring all of your previous medical records with you to India. This will help the doctors assess your condition and make sure that you are a good candidate for a kidney transplant.
  • Staying in India for two months: The entire process of a kidney transplant in India, from pre-transplant evaluation to post-transplant recovery, can take about two months. It is important to factor this into your travel plans and make sure that you have enough time to stay in India.
  • Asking for a complete package: When you are looking for a hospital for your kidney transplant, it is important to ask for a complete package. This should include all of the costs of the transplant, including medical testing, surgery, hospital stay, and medicines.
  • Considering additional expenses: In addition to the cost of the transplant, there may be other expenses that you need to consider, such as accommodation outside the hospital, anti-rejection injections, and take-home medicines. It is important to factor these expenses into your budget when planning your trip to India.
  • Applying for a medical visa: To travel to India for a kidney transplant, you will need to apply for a medical visa. You can do this online or at the Indian embassy or consulate in your home country. You will need to provide your passport, medical records, and proof of financial support and an invitation form the treating hospital in India.
  • Hiring a medical tourism company: If you are not familiar with the process of getting a kidney transplant in India, you may want to consider hiring a trusted medical tourism company like IndiCure Health Tours. IndiCure will help you with all aspects of your trip, from finding a hospital, surgeon, nephrologist to arranging your accommodation and transportation.


Getting a kidney transplant in India can be a life-changing experience, but it is important to be well-prepared for the surgery and stay in the country. This guide will walk you through the steps involved in getting a kidney transplant in India, from making an informed decision to being assisted throughout your stay. IndiCure Health Tours will be there to help you every step of the way.

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