(WYTV) – Can you regift the gift of life? Some transplant surgeons say yes.

A hundred thousand people are waiting for a kidney transplant, but only one in five will get one.

What happens to someone who dies who has been carrying a kidney transplant? Can we use that kidney again re-gift it? It’s rare, it’s only been done a handful of times, but some surgeons say re-gifting kidneys could save lives.

“20% to 25% of patients who have a kidney transplant die with a functioning kidney transplant. That’s a lot of potential kidneys that could be put out there in the pool,” said Dr. Jeffrey Veale.

 These surgeons insist regifting should become common and help patients who might otherwise have never received a kidney.

An estimated 30 million people will go on dialysis over the next decade. If re-transplanting kidneys were to become standard practice, it would open up the donor pool to those waiting on the call for this life-saving organ.