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Kidney disease & treatment

What are kidneys?

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs the size of your fist on the left and right sides of your spine. They filter out waste and extra fluid from your body.

Human diagram showing kidney and bladder

Your 2 kidneys make urine (pee) and do many other jobs that keep you healthy, such as:

  • Balance your body’s water and salt levels, and make sure your body doesn’t get too acidic or basic
  • Clean waste from your body
  • Make hormones to help:
      • Control your blood pressure
      • Keep your bones healthy
      • Make red blood cells

Know your kidneys

Two bean-shaped organs, each the size of a fist

Kidney diagram

Leaders in transplant excellence

UNOS works with leading educational partners to provide accurate, trustworthy health information. Our educational partners include:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Duke University School of Medicine
Emory University
Johns Hopkins University
Mount Sinai Hospital
Northwestern University
Temple University
University of California, Los Angeles




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