Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Transplant Rejection

Written by matt kuchera
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

The National Institutes of Health says that kidney transplants are among the most common transplant surgeries performed in the United States. This is in part because living donors can safely donate one of their kidneys. People who receive a transplanted kidney must take medication to suppress their immune system to keep it from attacking the transplanted kidney. In about 10 to 20 per cent of cases, however, the patient's body still rejects the kidney, reports the Columbia University Medical Center Department of Surgery. When this happens, you may experience a few signs and symptoms.

Other People Are Reading

Feelings of Illness

Because rejection of a transplanted organ is caused by an immune response, you may experience flu-like symptoms if your body is rejecting your transplanted kidney. This can include a fever of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher, fatigue, chills, headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.


Since a kidney transplant is major surgery, pain and tenderness around the site of your new kidney is normal immediately during recovery. However, if the pain lasts a long time or if it returns weeks or months later, it may be a sign of rejection of the organ.

Kidney-Related Symptoms

If your body starts to reject your transplanted kidney, it may not be able to function properly, and you may start to show signs of kidney failure. The kidney may not be able to perform its excretory function, leading you to retain fluid. This fluid retention can lead to weight gain and swelling in extremities. The Cleveland Clinic says a sudden weight gain of 0.907 to 1.81kg. within 24 hours is a warning sign of possible rejection. You may also notice your urine output is greatly decreased. You may also experience shortness of breath if fluid starts to build up in your lungs.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.