In this blog you’ll learn all you need to know about Kidney Transplant
- causes of Kidney failure,
- risks in getting a kidney transplant,
- Kidney Transplant Surgery
- Kidney Transplant Treatment and Recovery
Kidneys are an integral part of the body required to perform the filtration process of separating waste from the blood. Apart from this kidneys perform some other functions such as maintaining electrolytes and managing blood pressure but when the kidney fails to act such functions, a transplant may be required.
Kidney transplant or renal transplant surgery refers to replacing a diseased kidney with a donated kidney either from a living donor or from a deceased donor. A kidney from a living donor is often donated by a family member with a similar match. In rare cases, 2 kidneys are transplanted from a deceased person.
The diseased kidney in most cases isn’t taken out and the transplanted kidney is placed in the lower part of the belly on the front side. People often are scared of donating organs because they feel as to how their body would function on a single kidney but a healthy kidney can single-handedly perform all the tasks it is required to in the body of the donor.
Reasons why a Kidney Transplant Surgery might be required
Kidney transplants are often required when the kidney fails to function especially at the end stage of renal disease. The reasons why kidney failure can be caused are:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease- Polycystic Kidney Disease is an inherited and genetic kidney disease that forms fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys affecting the process of filtering out waste.
- Type 2 Diabetes – Type 2 Diabetes is increasing blood sugar levels when the body fails to metabolize glucose, and the excess sugar kills blood filtering units in the kidneys leading to kidney failure.
- Glomerulonephritis- Glomeruli are little units in the kidneys that filter out fluid, waste, and electrolytes from blood. When Glomeruli are inflamed it is called Glomerulonephritis.
- Severe defects in Urinary tracts
- Repeated Urinary Infections
- Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome- A disorder causing kidney failure.
- Immune system diseases such as Lupus- It is an autoimmune disease which means the system that usually fights infections attacks healthy tissues.
Risks in Getting a Kidney Transplant-
There are certain risks involved in getting kidney transplants such as-
- Rejection of the kidney by the body
- Not proper functioning of the transplanted kidney
- Leakage of urine
- Blockage of urine in the ureter
- Serious reaction to general anesthesia
Eligibility for Kidney Transplant Surgery-
Even if a person has ESRD i.e. end-stage renal disease there are certain requirements that the patient needs to fulfill to be eligible for kidney transplant surgery and certain requirements are also to be fulfilled by the donor. These requirements often include-
Psychological Evaluation- Psychological evaluation may be required to check stress levels, financial issues, and support from the family or acquaintances, it also goes for the donor.
Blood Tests- Blood Tests are required to see if the donor is a match to the patient. Family donors are often most likely to match that of the patient.
The patient should not be having other diseases such as cancer or other cardiovascular diseases. The donor’s medical history will also be checked by that of the doctor to ensure a safe transplant. With this, the patient should avoid smoking or consuming alcohol.
The procedure of Kidney Transplant Surgery
To prepare for the kidney transplant, the doctor will ask certain questions to the patients, check with the patient, and would ask them to fast for at least 8 hours before starting the surgery. The doctor will also take consent of the patient pre-surgery in a consent form and thereafter routine kidney dialysis will be performed.
To start with the kidney transplant surgery, general anesthesia will be given to the patient to calm the patient’s nerves, after which a tube will be inserted into the patient’s lungs to help them breathe with the help of a ventilator. Catheters will be put in your arms and neck and wrist to monitor the blood pressure, oxygen levels, and heart rate. A catheter will be inserted into your bladder.
The renal procedure starts with an incision made in the lower part of the abdomen, the kidney is placed inside it. The diseased or failed kidneys aren’t removed unless there are certain complications, and are left in their place. Further, the new kidney’s blood vessels are attached surgically to the blood vessels in the lower part of the abdomen.
The ureter is a tube attached from the kidneys to the bladder and carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, the new kidneys’ ureter or the tube is then attached to the bladder of the patient. Hence, the incision is surgically stitched or stapled.
Kidney Transplant Treatment and Recovery
Post the kidney transplant surgery, the patient will be required to stay in the hospital for several days, the doctors will monitor the functioning of the new kidney, and will also prescribe certain anti-rejection medications.
These are required as the body tends to attack any foreign substance, the new kidney being a foreign object makes the immune system attack it, thus, to stop the body from attacking and opposing the new kidney, the medications are given.
Post this, the patient will be checked for other bodily functions and tests will be run. In terms of food intake, there will be a slow shift from a liquid to a solid diet. Once the patient gets to the solid diet, they’ll be required to eat fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meat, low salt and fat, and lots of water to drink to keep themselves hydrated.
Even while taking care at home the patient will be required to look for any symptoms such as fever and soreness as a sign of rejection or internal bleeding while taking care that no pressure is applied to the incision area. The patient would be required to be cautious at the time of recovery.