Kidney transplant is one of the commonest transplants performed worldwide. It involves the replacement of the diseased kidney with a healthy kidney from a donor. It is the best option for patients suffering from end stage renal disease. Lets first understand little bit about kidneys and their functioning before moving to kidney transplant.
What are kidneys?
Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that are vital part of human body. Kidneys have various functions like maintain the fluid and electrolyte (sodium, calcium and potassium) balance, filter waste material from the blood and remove them from the body through urine. They also make hormones that control the blood pressure and RBCs.
What if kidneys stop their work?
So, if kidneys stop their work, there will be a buildup of waste material in the body that will make the person seriously ill and cause:
- high blood pressure
- fluid accumulation
- imbalance of salt and acids in the blood
- decreased red blood cells
- weakening of bones
This condition is serious, often life-threatening and is termed as kidney failure (or end-stage renal/kidney disease).
Causes of end-stage renal disease
End stage renal disease can be caused due to
- Chronic and uncontrolled diabetes
- Chronic and uncontrolled high blood pressure
- Chronic glomerulonephritis
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Chronic kidney infections
- Anatomical problems of the urinary tract
- Kidney stones
- Obesity etc.
Indications of Kidney Transplant
Chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney disease occurs when kidney functions decline, and kidneys loss 90% of their ability to perform their functions. This is one of the major health concerns worldwide and such patients require either dialysis or kidney transplant. While kidney transplant is a procedure in which failed kidneys are replaced by donor kidneys of a deceased or alive person, dialysis is a mechanical procedure that filters waste from the body.
Kidney transplant is often the choice of treatment as compared to life time dialysis in patients with chronic kidney failure.
Kidney transplant is a major procedure that is done by a team of expert surgeons and doctors. But there is no need to have two donor kidneys as one donated kidney is enough to replace two failed kidneys. This makes it possible to have one kidney from a living-donor for kidney transplantation. So, the donor kidney can come from living donor or a deceased donor.
Living donors: Living donor can be any person who is healthy with healthy kidneys. As our body can work well even with a single kidney, friends or family of the person can choose to donate one kidney. But this requires matching of blood and tissue of both the donor and recipient.
Deceased donors: Kidney can also be donated by a deceased/cadaver donor. Kidney from deceased is taken if the person died due to some accident rather than any disease.
It is better to have a kidney donated by your family member as there are less chances of rejection as compared to a donated kidney from an unrelated donor.
Transplant Evaluation Process
Once the patient decides to undergo kidney transplant, various tests are done to ensure the safety of the operation and find out his eligibility for the transplant. Some of the major tests done are:
- General metabolic laboratory tests
- Coagulation studies
- Complete blood count
- Pap smear and mammogram (women)
- Stress test
- Cardiac catheterization
- Chest x-ray
- Spirometry etc.
After these tests confirm the eligibility status of the patient, next step is to evaluate both patient and donor for compatibility. This requires following tests:
- Blood Type Testing
- Tissue Typing
These tests are required to match a donor kidney to the recipient and transplant is planned only after confirming the match.
The kidney transplant surgery takes about 2-4 hours and is done under general anesthesia. Kidney transplant is a heterotopic transplant that means that the diseased kidney is not removed until it is causing some serious complications, and new kidney is placed at a different location.
The procedure is done through an incision in the abdomen. The donor kidney is placed at the new position in the front of the lower abdomen, in the pelvis. The artery and the vein of donor kidney are surgically connected to the already existing artery and vein in the pelvis of the recipient. Finally, the ureter is connected to the bladder.
Deceased donor kidney transplant: If the kidney is taken from a deceased donor, it is either stored in ice or is connected to a machine that keeps it working till the time it is transplanted into the recipient.
Living-donor kidney transplant: If the kidney is taken from a living donor, it is removed from the donor and simultaneously placed into the recipient.
It may take 3-7 days or more in the hospital to recover initially.
- Both donor and recipient will stay in the hospital for few days after transplant. Recipient may need to stay longer.
- There will be a catheter in the bladder of recipient for a few days
- Patient is given IV feeding through arm or neck vein for a few days.
- Ambulation is generally started 24 hours after surgery
- New kidney starts to work immediately in most of the cases, but if it does not then dialysis is done for few days.
Results of Kidney Transplant
After a successful surgery for kidney transplant, the new kidney starts filtering blood and dialysis is no longer required. But patient is required to take medications as prescribed to prevent rejection of donor kidney. Also, regular checkup with doctor is must to evaluate the kidney functioning and stay healthy.
Benefits of Kidney Transplant
- Increases chances of survival and adds years to the life of sufferer
- Freedom from long-term dependence of dialysis and its strict schedule
- Fewer dietary restrictions
- Allows the person to live a more active life
- Improves quality of life of the person
- Lower treatment cost
Why MedTours Global?
- We are associated with the best hospitals globally having the emergency infrastructure, fully equipped with the latest technologies and techniques to overcome from every emergency condition.
- Our team of doctors are highly experienced in ‘Emergency Patient Management’ and work together to save the patient.
- Consultation from doctors through e-mail, phone, and video calling.
- Rehabilitation programs are organized to assist complex surgery patients.
- Complete support and assistance being given before and after treatment.
- Cost of treatment is quite less as compared to other service providers.
- We are always ready to offer our helping hand and our services are available Free of Cost 24/7.