The kidneys are a pair of reddish-brown organs located on either side of the spine just below the diaphragm. They are bean-shaped and about 4 and 1/2 inches long, 2 and 1/2 inches wide and one inch thick. The primary function of the kidneys is to remove waste from the body through the production of urine. They also help to regulate blood pressure, blood volume and the chemical (electrolyte) composition of the blood.
The pancreas is a five to six inch gland located behind the stomach. One function of the pancreas is to produce enzymes that are used for digestion. It also produces insulin, which is essential for life because it regulates the use of blood sugar throughout the body.
Common Diseases That May Lead to Transplantation
- Polycystic kidneys
- Chronic pyelonephritis
- Diabetes mellitus
- Kidney stones
- Renal cell carcinoma
- Wilms' tumor
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on August 1, 2003 by UNOS and last modified on December 20, 2007.
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