Know the cost of diagnosis, treatment of kidney disease to ensure financial preparation

The kidneys are a pair of organs located under the rib cage on either side of the spine and are responsible for filtering blood and removing toxins from the body. When the functioning of the kidneys or other aligned organs is affected for various reasons, different kinds of diseases result. Kidney damage can be due to congenital problems, problems in other organs, or chronic lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure.

Types of kidney disease

The most common kidney disease in India is chronic kidney disease (CKD) while other disorders include kidney stones, prostate and urinary tract problems, and nephrotic syndrome among others. Although there is very little data on the prevalence of kidney disease in India, the most common, CKD, has an incidence of 150 per million.

“Chronic kidney disease can be divided into two types: acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease,” says Dr Dilip Bhalla, director of nephrology and kidney transplantation, Max Hospital, Patpargang.

In the first case, the kidney is affected quite suddenly due to disease, medication, or infection, but can be reversed and cured if detected and treated in time. With chronic illness, there is no cure, and over time the kidney deteriorates until it stops working altogether. Treatment here is to delay the deterioration. CRF has been classified into five stages, with renal failure culminating in stage 5 when dialysis or transplantation is started.


As with any disease, four types of costs are involved. One is the doctor’s consultation fee, then the diagnostic fee, the treatment fee, and the post-treatment medical care fee which can be short term or long term.

Doctor’s consultation fees

  • General practitioner: Rs 500-1000
  • Nephrologist: Rs 1,000-2,000

Diagnostic tests

For all kidney problems, there are two types of tests, one being a blood test and the other being an imaging of the kidney.

Blood chemistry tests: This involves checking the level of various chemicals in the blood to discover aberrations and identify the problem.

  • Kidney function test: Rs 400-450
  • Complete blood count: Rs 150-300
  • Urine test: Rs 400-500

Radiology tests: For further investigation, scans are performed to find the specific problem. If the ultrasound shows an abnormality, the investigation is limited to computed tomography or MRI.

  • Ultrasound (kidney): Rs 500
  • CT Scan: Rs 3,000 to 5,000
  • MRI: Rs 5,000-12,000

Processing fee

Since there are different types of kidney problems, the duration of treatment and costs also vary. Here are the treatments and costs for some of the common kidney problems.

1. Acute renal failure

Treatment course: Depending on the cause, this usually requires a hospital stay with drugs and substitutes to restore the chemicals. In more severe cases, dialysis or admission to intensive care may be necessary. Usually this happens in patients who are already hospitalized.

Cost: Can vary a lot depending on the severity of the problem, the length of treatment and the length of stay in hospital.

2. Chronic kidney disease

Course of treatment for stages 1-4: These stages usually require medication, regular check-ups and follow-up visits, as well as blood tests once every 2-3 months. Depending on the cause (diabetes, hypertension, etc.), long-term therapy and drugs are needed.

Cost: 10,000 to 20,000 rupees per month

Treatment course for stage 5: At this stage, the kidney stops functioning and needs external assistance to perform its functions through dialysis or a complete transplant.

Dialysis: A patient usually needs 2 to 3 sessions per week, in addition to other medications. “Most patients also need to be hospitalized 3 to 4 times a year due to complications from poor immunity,” says Dr Bhalla.

  • Cost of dialysis (2-3 times per week): Rs 3,000 per session
  • Hemoglobin injections (once a week): Rs 1400 per injection
  • Other drugs: Rs 5,000 per month

Kidney transplant: “The package in a private hospital usually costs Rs 5 lakh, but in reality it costs Rs 7-8 lakh”, explains Dr Bhalla. The expenses of the donor are the responsibility of the recipient and the hospitalization of the latter is generally 10 days, while that of the donor is 5 days. The costs are spread throughout the transplant as follows:

  • Pre-transplant cost: There are various donor screening and matching tests to ensure that the donor is suitable for transplantation. Rs 1-1.5 lakh
  • During transplantation: There is induction therapy / injections to make sure the kidney is not rejected. Rs 1-1.5 lakh
  • Cost of transplantation: Rs 5 lakh .. Post transplant cost: Higher doses of drugs are given until the kidneys settle in about a year, then this dose is reduced. Rs 30,000 to 35,000 per month (for one year) Rs 10,000 to 15,000 per month (after one year).

3. Kidney stones

Treatment course: Stone removal requires non-invasive surgery (lithotripsy, ureteroscopy), minimally invasive surgery (percutaneous nephrolithotomy) or open surgery depending on the size of the stones.

Cost: Rs 1-2 lakh

Post-surgical cost: Follow-up once every 3 months and ultrasound once every 6 months. 6,000 to 7,000 rupees per year

4. Prostrate

Treatment course: It is treated with medication or often surgery and requires minimal medication or post-surgical care.

Cost: Rs 1-2 lakh

Post-surgical cost: Follow up once a month, then once every 3-6 months. Minimum drug requirement. 3,000 to 7,000 rupees per year

5. Tumor / Obstruction / Congenital problem

Treatment course: This usually requires a one-time surgery to remove the tumor or blockage.

Cost: Rs 1-2 lakh

cost ic: Follow-up once every 6 months, then once a year. 1,500 to 3,000 rupees per year

All costs are for Delhi, are indicative and may vary for different hospitals / clinics and laboratories.

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