Published online Feb 18, 2023. doi: 10.5500/wjt.v13.i2.28
Peer-review started: September 3, 2022
First decision: October 31, 2022
Revised: January 5, 2023
Accepted: January 8, 2023
Article in press: February 8, 2023
Published online: February 18, 2023
Patients with end-stage renal disease in Greece are facing long waiting times to receive a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. Living kidney donation offers a valuable alternative that provides optimal outcomes and significantly expands the donor pool but still remains relatively underutilised. Developments around the world in the field of kidney transplantation mandate a change in current practice to include additional options for living donation through paired exchange, antibody-incompatible transplantation and other strategies, following careful consideration of the cultural and ethical factors involved in these complex clinical decisions. An increase in living donation rates may be achieved in several ways, including targeted campaigning to overcome potential barriers. Educating clinicians on transplantation will prove as equally important as informing patients and prospective donors but requires training and resources. Adoption of established practices and implementation of new strategies must be tailored to the needs of the Greek donor and recipient population. Local beliefs about donation, perception of associated risk and other social characteristics must be considered in the design of future strategies. Facilitating living donation in a safe environment with appropriate donor and recipient education will form the solid foundation of a new era of kidney transplantation in Greece.
Core Tip: Living kidney donation is the driving force behind every successful kidney transplant programme worldwide. In Greece, in particular, it accounts for nearly half of performed transplants annually. Its role is of paramount importance since deceased donor kidney transplant waiting times are currently unacceptably long. Paired exchange and other options will form the basis to expand the donor pool and facilitate future developments in the field.