What is Kidney Transplant

The Kidney has filters and it separates and purifies all the waste from our blood and drains them away through the urine. By doing this, the kidney also maintains the balance of electrolyte and the body’s fluid.

When the Kidney fails to naturally clean out the body toxins and any waste of the body, the process is artificially achieved through Dialysis. Kidney Transplant is often the next step of Dialysis. Also, dialysis is a long-term medical procedure and calls for frequent dialysis sessions at the hospital. Whereas, Kidney Transplantation is a long-term, one-time process which lets the patient live a more active and free life.

In kidney failure treatment through transplantation, a kidney from a donor’s body; alive or deceased; is taken and surgically placed in the receiver’s body. Though a normal human being is born with 2 kidneys, 1 young body can survive and work well only with one kidney.

Who need kidney transplantation the most

Dialysis or Kidney transplantation is actually prescribed as the last step of Kidney treatment when; when the kidneys completely stop to function. In medical terms, this condition is called ‘End-Stage Kidney Disease’ or ‘End-Stage Renal Disease’.

As the post-surgery procedure requires high medication and a very strict lifestyle, doctors run a through medical diagnosis to check whether the patient’s body is prepared to commit to the changes or not. Also, the patient’s physical stability for surviving this major surgery is another big question.

Also, there are certain medical conditions that do not suggest a safe kidney transplant:

  • Cancer
  • Advanced Age
  • Serious Cardiovascular Disease
  • Bone Infections, Hepatitis or Tuberculosis
  • Liver disease
  • Dementia

Doctors also forbid going for kidney disease treatments like kidney transplant under certain circumstances:

  • Excessive smoking
  • Excessive alcohol and drug intake
  • Serious Medical Illness

Who can be an eligible Kidney Donor?

In the case of Kidney Failure, Kidney can be taken both from living donor and deceased donor.

  • Living Donor: A donor whose blood and other physical parameters match well with the patients, one kidney can be safely removed from the donor’s body. As human bodies can work well with a single kidney, safe Kidney transplantation from a family member’s body is often done under medical supervision. This increases the chance of the receiver’s body accepting the foreign body part.
  • Deceased Donor: People who have recently died from an accident rather than any disease are considered as Cadaver donors or Deceased donors. Cadaver donors are generally the alternative option when any match from the blood relationships is not found. The receiver’s body is less likely to accept any organ taken from any unrelated donor.

Why Kidney Transplant is done?

To most of the patients who are suffering from kidney problems like severe kidney stones, kidney infection and kidney failure, Kidney Transplant is a choice over lifelong Dialysis.

A successful kidney transplant is better in a bunch of ways than Dialysis:

  • Lower risk of Kidney failure and death
  • More free and better quality of life
  • Fewer restrictions on dietary regimes
  • Lower treatment cost

Kidney failure symptoms

A major number of Chronic Kidney Diseases (CKD) are asymptomatic and subtle. Still, there are few vivid symptoms which should never be ignored and immediately calls for emergency help is required:

  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling weak and faint
  • Swollen or puffy face
  • Cold intolerance
  • Feeling itchy all the time
  • Urine more frequently
  • Shortness of breath
  • Foamy or bubbly urine
  • Trouble in thinking clearly
  • Ammonia breath
  • Swelling in hands or feet
  • Metal-like taste in food
  • Reddish, Purple or Brown urine
  • ‘Couldn’t get it all out’ feeling during Urine

The Kidney Transplantation donor identification and compatibility

  • The first thing that is done in transplantation treatment of renal failure is to check the patient’s blood group and human leukocyte antigen.
  • Matching the HLA type of the donor and the receiver is very important so that the receiver’s body does not reject the foreign organ.
  • Every human being has 6 antigens. Among these, the more number of antigens match between the donor and the receiver, the chances of acceptance is higher.
  • The doctors also pathologically make sure that the donor’s antibodies will not attack the receiver’s multiple organs.
  • If the receiver’s blood starts producing antibodies against the donor’s blood, then the Kidney Transplantation is not possible.
  • Finally after all the check, if there is no antibody reaction from ones’ body, then that body is fine for the transplantation.

Kidney Transplant Procedure

  • If the donor is alive, the transplantation is scheduled beforehand.
  • The surgery procedure starts with a negative cross match antibody report.
  • Kidney transplantation surgery is generally done by intravenous (IV) line anaesthesia (general anaesthesia).
  • Donor’s kidney is placed in the receiver’s body by an incision in the abdomen.
  • Then the receiver’s veins and arteries are connected with the received kidney.
  • The new kidney’s ureter will next be joined to the receiver’s bladder for normalizing the urinate system.
  • If the original kidney is working fine or if it is not infected, then it is not removed from the patient’s body.

Complications after Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant comes with a number of serious complications and side-effects:

  • Heavy blood-clots
  • Excessive blood loss
  • Serious infection
  • Transmitted infection or cancer from Donor
  • Blockage of the ureter tube
  • Donated Kidney failure or rejection
  • Death, heart attack and stroke

Both symptoms and post-surgery complications can turn out to be lethal if not treated from the initial stage. It’s always advisable to contact one of the best Kidney Transplant hospitals in India for increasing the success rate.

Content Reviewed By: Dr. Vikas Agarwal