News posted 22 March, 2018

Manchester Royal Infirmary celebrates 50 years of kidney transplants

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It’s 50 years since the first kidney transplant was performed at Manchester Royal Infirmary and the transplant team has organised an afternoon tea on Sunday 25th March, supported by Kidneys for Life, a charity based at MRI, to celebrate.

MRI has the largest kidney transplant unit in the UK and has performed over 6,500 transplants to date in the past 50 years.

50 years ago a kidney patient needed to be under 40 years of age, a non-smoker and physically fit before being considered for a transplant whilst the donor had to be both a blood and tissue match.

Now, thanks to improved techniques and research, the dedicated team at the Manchester Royal Infirmary Transplant Centre, headed by Clinical Director Mr Titus Augustine, performs successful mis-matched transplants and has the best transplant success rate after 5 years.

Without a transplant kidney patients have to rely on dialysis treatment to keep them alive.  There are currently more than 5,000 patients nationwide on the waiting list for a kidney transplant and nearly 500 patients on the MRI transplant waiting list, which accounts for 10% of the national waiting list.

Mr Afshin Tavakoli, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at MRI and a Trustee for Kidneys for Life, said:  “Manchester Royal Infirmary is one of the largest kidney transplant centres in Europe and provides a full range of kidney as well as pancreatic transplant services for adults and children from across the North West.

“Looking back, 52 kidney transplants were performed here between 1968 and 1974.  Now, the Manchester transplant team has undertaken nearly 1,000 transplants in the last three years alone.

“This Sunday we are proud to look back on 50 years of transplant innovation while moving forward with research and innovation to improve the care of transplant recipients into the future.”

If you’d like to join in the celebration, please contact or call 0161 276 6671 for more details.

Kidneys for Life supports kidney patients, children and adults, and funds research focussed on improving the early detection of kidney disease, developing better treatments and prolonging the life of a transplanted kidney.