I found the following information about things to consider before deciding on a kidney transplant:
"Transplantation has many advantages, such as a lifestyle free from dialysis and fewer fluid and dietary restrictions. Kidney transplants, when successful, usually provide a better quality of life for most people, and they are less expensive than dialysis in the long run. Some things to consider before saying "yes" to a kidney transplant are the risks and benefits of transplant, medications and their side effects, financial coverage and your ability to continue follow-up care as well as follow directions.
There are two sources of kidney donations: a living donor (usually a close relative) or a non-living donor (someone who dies and donates their organs). Living donation is usually preferred because the success rate is higher (better than 90 percent for the first year), the recipient requires less anti-rejection medication and it is possible to plan when the transplant will take place. Those who do not have a living donor (most cases) can be placed on a transplant waiting list. The waiting time will vary depending on when a non-living donor kidney becomes available. The success rate for non-living donor transplantation is about 80 percent for the first year.
Those eligible for a kidney transplant must be healthy enough to have the surgery and be free from cancer and infection. You must also be able to comply with the medications and follow-up treatment."
You will need to speak to your doctor to find out if your wife is medically suitable for a transplant. If you & she decide to go ahead, she will be put on the waiting list for a donor kidney. Sometimes, patients are on the waiting list for an average of two years before a suitable kidney becomes available.
If the transplant fails, she might be placed dialysis or have another transplant. Please know that even a successful transplant may not last forever. She will have to take a range of medication daily to prevent rejection of the new kidney.
No one can tell you what will be best for your wife. That is a decision that you and she will have to make with her doctors. You will probably meet with a transplant evaluator (should you & she decide to go ahead with the transplant) to determine if she is, indeed, a good candidate for transplant and to decrease any post-transplant complications. Usually, this will include the following tests prior to being placed on the transplant waiting list:
* her medical history
* her blood type
* her tissue type
* an infection screening
* chest x-ray
* electrocardiogram (EKG).
Some people (like Lupus patients) will require more tests.
I hope that this has been helpful to you. Hopefully, someone who has experience in this area will also respond to you. I wish both you and your wife the very best in whatever decision you make.
Peace and Blessings