Kidney transplant, also know as renal transplant is a surgical procedure wherein a diseased kidney in an individual is replaced by a healthy kidney. The incidences of kidney transplant procedures have been on the rise in the past decades. Kidney transplant procedure is the last choice of treatment for a chronic renal disease or chronic renal failure that cannot be corrected by medical treatment alone. Kidney transplant surgeries definitely improve the overall outcome and health in individuals suffering from a chronic renal disease or end stage renal failure.
Who needs a kidney transplant surgery ?
A kidney transplant surgery is suggested if you are suffering from an end stage renal disease or both the kidneys have stopped functioning affecting your overall health. Kidney transplant surgeries positively improve the overall outcome and health in individuals suffering from a chronic renal disease or end stage renal failure.
Who can become a donor for kidney transplant surgery ?
The kidney to be utilized in the transplant procedure can be donated either from a
- Living donor who is related to the patient who is receiving a transplant
- Living donor who is not related to the patient
- A patient who died recently and did not have a history of any renal disease
Donating an organ is regulated by government bylaws, and buying and selling of any organs is illegal and is considered a serious crime. A living donor is one who has both the kidneys which are functional. Usually one kidney can perform the normal function of filtering the blood hence if you donate one kidney you still can have one kidney performing the normal functions without any trouble. Ask your doctor if you are suitable for donating a kidney, the consulting doctor might ask you to undergo a series of investigations to validate you for a kidney donation procedure.
The law governing organ transplant may vary from country to country. In some countries if it is a living donor kidney transplant then the donor should be a first degree relative of the patient. In some other countries the donor need not be the first degree relative. It is better to understand the local law governing organ transplant before choosing a destination for kidney transplant surgery. The donor who is willing for a kidney donation, will first be thoroughly medically examined for any chronic illness and is tested whether his or her kidney can be given for a transplant procedure. Usually a single kidney is removed from a healthy individual so that the other kidney performs the ongoing functions. The donor has to sign a duly filled consent form and the patient should submit all the necessary documents and fulfill all the necessary formalities prior to a kidney transplant surgery. The procedure of kidney donation is performed in an operation theatre by trained team of kidney transplant surgeons, nurses and technicians under general anaesthesia. Recent advances in the field of medicine also permit the use of laparoscopic procedures for the removal of kidney from a donor. Post removal, the kidney is placed in saline and can remain vital for about 48 hours when kept in saline under adequate conditions.
When a kidney transplant surgery is contraindicated ?
A kidney transplant surgery is strictly avoided in the below mentioned cases.
- Any chronic infections or infectious diseases
- Any chronic illness related either to heart, lungs or liver
- Weakened immunity or past history of severe illness
- History of cancer
- Habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse
What happens before a kidney transplant surgery?
If you are diagnosed with end stage kidney disease your consulting doctor might give you a suggestion to consider kidney transplant surgery as a choice of treatment. Once your consulting specialist feels that you are a suitable candidate for a transplant procedure you will be advised to undergo a thorough medical check-up followed by laboratory examination of your blood and X-ray, CT scan and MRI scan to rule out any other diseases and located the kidneys. A complete blood examination and tissue matching is done to see if your body will accept the transplanted kidney. For receiving a kidney, a patient has to register with a hospital which is licensed to perform transplant procedures, which will put the patient on the list of patients requiring a kidney from an authorized transplant center. Patients are prioritized on the basis of health issue and the need for a kidney transplant for a transplant procedure. If a patient’s relative is willing to donate a kidney he should also consult with the specialist for the standard procedure for donating a kidney. More information about how transplants are performed can be obtained from your hospital or a healthcare center.
What is the procedure for kidney transplant surgery ?
Recent advances in the field of medicine also permit the use of laparoscopic procedures for the removal of kidney from a donor. Post removal the kidney is placed in saline and can remain vital for about 48 hours when kept in saline under adequate conditions. The donor kidney is placed and is connected to the blood vessels, nerves and the urinary bladder to make it functional. After the kidney is positioned it is checked for its functioning and the surgical wound is closed with the help of sutures. The transplant procedure is performed by a team of surgeons, anesthetists, technicians and nurses who are trained for transplant surgeries. Once a donor is identified whose kidney will be cross matched with yours and there are chances that the transplant will be success. After the administration of anesthesia, the operating surgeon makes an incision on the lower part of your abdomen to expose the site of the surgery. The donor kidney is placed and is connected to the blood vessels, nerves and the urinary bladder to make it functional. The patients kidney are usually left in place unless they are infected. After the kidney is positioned it is checked for its functioning and the surgical wound is closed with the help of sutures. The patient is then closely monitored in a surgical intensive care unit to avoid any post operative complications.
Is the transplant procedure performed under anesthesia?
Yes, any transplant procedure is performed under the influence of general anesthesia and sedation if required.
How long will I have to stay in the hospital after a kidney transplant surgery ?
You will have to be closely monitored in a surgical intensive care unit for 24-48 hours to avoid any post-operative complications. The stay in hospital for a kidney transplant is usually between 5 to 10 days if no complications arise.
What is the care to be taken after a kidney transplant surgery ?
The patient is closely monitored by a team of doctors to avoid any post surgical complications. The patient is monitored in the intensive care unit until he/she is suitable to be shifted to a ward for further monitoring. Usually a patient is discharged after a week from the date of procedure and is asked to regularly come for follow ups and laboratory investigations to ensure the normal functioning of the transplanted kidney. The patient is asked to be on medication which he/she may be asked to continue for lifelong which should not be stopped without prior consultation with the doctor.
A patient has to be in constant touch with the consulting specialist to monitor his or her overall health. If the doctor recommends then the patient has to modify his/her diet to maintain a balanced weight. Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking habits as they will prevent you from being suitable for the procedure and can increase the chances of transplant failure. If any medications are advised by your specialist you should regularly take them. For a transplant to be successful it is essential to follow the pre-operative and post-operative instructions, maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue the medication as suggested by your consulting kidney transplant specialist. During the three months immediately after discharge from the hospital, you will have to prepare yourself for frequent and routine trips to the medical hospital for blood tests, kidney function tests and other tests for monitoring of your health condition. These trips will taper or increase based on your health. You will have to keep a check on your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and vital stats like pulse, temperature and ease and amount of urination. Smoking and drinking are to completely stopped. A good diet is advised. You can start a program of rehabilitation, with recommendations from your renal specialist and physiotherapist.
What is the outcome of a kidney transplant surgery ?
Kidney transplant is a major surgical procedure which aims at the overall improvement of quality of life in patients who are affected with chronic renal disease. Though it is a major surgical procedure with several risks associated with it, its success rates are reported in literature. It is advised to ask your consulting specialist about the benefits and risks associated with the procedure. For a transplant to be successful it is essential to follow the pre-operative and post operative instructions, maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue the medication as suggested by your consulting specialist.
What are the pros and cons of kidney transplant surgery ?
Kidney transplant surgery does increase life expectancy and improves quality of life. The most significant time for survival is the first year after transplantation; this is the phase when surgical complications, rejection, and infection are the greatest threat to survival. Risks include rejection and infection. You will have to take Immunosuppressive (antirejection) medications prescribed by your doctors. Take the medications as prescribed. Even then, sometimes rejection is possible despite your and the kidney transplant team’s best efforts. Symptoms of rejection comprise of fever, chills, aches, and shortness of breath. Contact your kidney transplant team immediately in case of these symptoms.
Kidney transplant procedure is a major surgical procedure hence the risks could be associated with every step of the procedure such as abdominal upset, vomiting, nausea and headache related to the administration of anaesthesia. Risks specific to the transplant surgery could be formation of a blood clot leading to complications such as embolism, stroke or a heart attack. The surgical wound may be infected and may cause other complications. The patients are requested to take medicines to prevent organ rejection in cases of the transplant procedure; side effects of such medicines can lead to complications. It is essential to consult with your treating doctor if you are experiencing any side effects of the medication.
How to find kidney transplant surgeons for kidney transplant surgery ?
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Find and choose a kidney transplant surgeon for kidney transplant surgery on Hinfoways. Make an informed choice.
Disclaimer: The content provided here is meant for general informational purposes only and hence SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, care or evaluation by a qualified doctor/physician or other relevantly qualified healthcare provider.