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The kidneys are a pair of organs that sit in the back of the lower torso. They are responsible for removing urea, excess water and other water soluble waste products from the body. These waste products are sent to the bladder.
Kidney failure is the result of a number of conditions, including extreme old age. When the kidneys fail, the body eventually succumbs to either urea poisoning or edema. Since the mid-20th century, dialysis is an option for patients with malfunctioning kidneys, which performs the same function. However, it is possible to transplant a kidney from either a dead or live donor and this is preferred as dialysis is inefficient at properly removing normal elements found in the body, such as potassium.
The study of kidney disorders and diseases is known as nephrology. House is a board certified nephrologist.