Kidney transplant

Kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to remove the kidneys which are not functioning properly and place a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor.

November 18, 2021

Kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to remove the kidneys which are not functioning properly and place a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor.

Some facts about Kidney transplant:

  • A  healthy kidney will be placed into your body during kidney transplant surgery.
  • End stage renal disease (ESRD) is the stage where kidneys become damaged and can no longer function properly.
  • Kidney transplant is required at ESRD stage which is one of the major complications of diabetic.
  • One of the most important organ of human body is kidney. Waste fluid from your body can be removed, your blood pressure can be maintained and your bones can be kept strong by kidneys.
  • The right amount of potassium and sodium in your blood can also be ensured by Kidneys.
  • The hormone that causes your body to create red blood cells is produced by the kidneys.
  • Chronic kidney disease can be a cause of prolonged high sugar which requires kidney transplant.
  • A kidney transplant offers lower risk of death, better quality of life and fewer dietary restrictions than dialysis.Hence it is preferred then dialysis.

Types of Kidney transplant:

There are 3 types of kidney transplant.

Deceased-donor Kidney Transplant :

  • Deceased-donor kidney transplant is placing a kidney from someone who has recently died in a recipient whose kidneys have failed and no longer function properly.
  • The kidney will be removed from a donor card or with consent of the family. The donated kidney will be either connected to a machine that provides oxygen and nutrients until the kidney is transplanted into the recipient or stored on ice.

Living-donor Kidney Transplant:

  • When a kidney is removed from someone who is alive and placed in a recipient whose kidneys have failed and no longer function properly is called living-donor kidney transplant.
  • Only one donated kidney will be sufficient to survive instead of two kidneys. This makes living-donor kidney transplant an alternative to deceased-donor kidney transplant.
  • The benefits of Living-donor kidney transplant compared to deceased-donor kidney transplant, include;
  • Possible complications and deterioration of health can be prevented as time spent on a waiting list could be avoided once your donor is approved.
  • A pre-scheduled transplant once your donor is approved can be done rather then an unscheduled, emergency transplant procedure with a deceased donor.
  • Higher rate of short and long term survival.
  • Living-donor kidneys almost always start working immediately after transplant when compared to deceased-donor kidneys.
  • Your blood and tissue types need to be compatible with the donor's for a living-donor Kidney Transplant. Successful transplant may still be possible with additional medical treatment before and after transplant to make less sensitive your immune system and reduce the risk of rejection, if donor isn't a match.
  • Family members are most likely to be compatible living kidney donors. But it could be a friend, co-worker or sometimes a unknown person.

Pre-emptive Kidney Transplant:

  • Pre-emptive kidney transplant is a kidney transplant that can be done before your kidney function deteriorates to the point of needing dialysis to replace the normal filtering function of the kidneys.
  • This is done much before  End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
  • Lower risk of rejection of the donor kidney, improved survival rates, improved quality of life, lower treatment costs, avoidance of dialysis and its related dietary restrictions and health complications are some of the benefits of pre-emptive kidney transplant before dialysis for people with end-stage kidney disease.

Preparation for Kidney Transplant:

  • You should evaluate a kidney transplant center and check your health insurance to see which transplant centers are covered under your plan.
  • Consider the number of kidney transplants a center performs each year and the survival rates while evaluating a kidney transplant center.
  • You will need to have an evaluation to see if you are eligible for a transplant once a center is decided. The evaluation include having a kidney condition that would benefit from transplantation, are healthy enough to undergo surgery and post-transplant treatments, might benefit from other, less aggressive treatment options, and are willing and able to follow the medical program provided by the transplant team.
  • The center will put you on a waiting list if the transplant center medical team determines that you are a good candidate for a kidney transplant.
  • The expense required before, during and after your transplant should be considered which will include tests, organ procurement, surgery and hospital stays.
  • Several tests will be conducted to determine whether a donated kidney may be suitable for you. These include blood typing, tissue typing and crossmatch.

Procedure for Kidney Transplant:

  • Local anesthesia will be given by an anesthesiologist to make you sleep before the surgery. The anesthesiologist will check your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and breathing during the surgery.
  • An incision will be made by the surgeon in the lower part of one side of your abdomen and the new kidney will be placed into your body.
  • Your own kidneys will be  left in place unless they are causing complications such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, pain or infection.
  • The blood vessels in the lower part of your abdomen, just above one of your legs will be attached to the blood vessels of the new kidney.
  • The ureter of new kidney will be connected to your bladder.

Complications of Kidney Transplant:

  • Blood clots, bleeding, leaking from or blockage of ureter that links the kidney to the bladder, infection, failure of the donated kidney, rejection of the donated kidney are some of the complications associated with Kidney transplant.
  • An infection or cancer can be transmitted with the donated kidney
  • Death, heart attack and stroke are are some of the serious complications associated with Kidney transplant.
  • The anti-rejection medications that you take after a kidney transplant to help prevent your body from rejecting the donor kidney can have side effects.
  • These include diabetes, osteoporosis, osteonecrosis, excessive hair growth or hair loss, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased risk of cancer such as skin cancer and lymphoma, infection, puffiness and weight gain.