Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant

A surgeon places the new kidney inside the lower part of the abdomen and connects the renal artery and vein of the patient with those of the new kidney. The patient’s blood flows through the transplanted kidney, which begins to produce urine, as the kidneys of that person did when they were healthy. The new kidney can start working immediately or take a few weeks before starting to produce urine. The patient’s kidneys are left in place unless they are causing infections or hypertension.

How to prepare ?
The transplant process consists of many stages. First, you should talk to your doctor, because a transplant does not suit everyone. The doctor may tell you that the illness you are having would make a transplant dangerous or unlikely to succeed.

A kidney can be received from a relative (living related donor), from a person who has recently died (cadaveric donor), or sometimes from a spouse or a very close friend (non-related living donor). If you do not have a living donor, your name is put on a waiting list for a cadaver kidney. Waiting for a kidney from a cadaveric donor can last for several years.

The transplant team takes into account three factors when allocating the kidneys to potential recipients. These factors help predict whether the patient’s immune system will accept or reject the new kidney.

  • Blood type. Your blood group (A, B, AB or O) must be compatible with that of the donor. This is the most important factor.
  • Human leukocyte antigens ( HLA ). His cells possess six important human leukocyte antigens, three from his father and three from his mother. Your family members are most likely to have compatible antigens. You may be able to receive a kidney even if the HLA compatibility is not complete, as long as your blood group is compatible with the donor’s, and the other tests are negative.
  • Antigen compatibility tests. The last test before implanting an organ is that of compatibility. A small amount of blood is taken from the recipient and mixed with a sample of the donor’s in a tube to see if a reaction occurs. If not, it is considered that the compatibility test is negative and the transplant surgery can be performed.

How long does it take ?
The waiting time to obtain a kidney is variable. Since there are not enough cadaver donors for each person who needs a transplant, you should put your name on a waiting list. However, if a voluntary donor offers a kidney, the transplant can be scheduled as soon as the two people are ready. The main advantage of having a living donor is that the long wait is avoided.

The surgery lasts from 3 to 4 hours. The normal hospitalization period is about one week. After leaving the hospital, you will have to attend frequent checkups.

If someone has donated a kidney, that person will probably stay in the hospital for the same amount of time. However, a new technique for removing the kidney for donation uses a smaller incision and may allow the donor to leave the hospital in 2 or 3 days.

From 85 to 90 percent of cadaver donor transplants are functioning one year after surgery. Transplants from living relatives often work better than those from cadaver donors because they are usually more compatible.

Possible complications
Transplantation is the closest thing to the cure of the disease. However, no matter how compatible it is, your body can reject the new kidney. A frequent cause of rejection is not taking the medications in the indicated way.

The doctor will give you immunosuppressant medications, which prevent your immune system from attacking the kidney in a process called rejection. You should take them every day for as long as the transplanted kidney is functioning. Sometimes, however, these drugs are not enough to prevent the body from rejecting the new kidney. If this happens, you will have to go back to some form of dialysis and you may have to wait for another transplant.

Immunosuppressants can weaken the immune system, which can lead to infections. Some medications can also change your physical appearance. The face can be rounded; You can gain weight and you can get acne or facial hair. Not all patients have these problems. Diet and makeup can help improve them.

Immunosuppressants decrease the ability of cells of the immune system to function. In some patients, after long periods of time, this decreased immunity may increase the risk of cancer. Some immunosuppressants can cause cataracts, diabetes, increased stomach acid, high blood pressure and bone diseases. If used for a long time, they can also cause liver or kidney damage in some patients.

Diet for transplant patients
The diet for transplant patients is less limited than that of dialysis patients, but you may have to eat less of some foods. The diet will probably change as the medications change, blood test results, weight and blood pressure change.

  • You may have to count calories. Medications can make your appetite increase and you gain weight.
  • You may have to consume less salt. Medications can cause your body to retain sodium, which causes high blood pressure.

Advantages and disadvantages
Kidney transplantation has advantages and disadvantages.

Kidney transplant

Advantage

+ A transplanted kidney works like a normal one.
+ You may feel healthier or more normal.
+ You will have less dietary restrictions.
+ You will not need dialysis.
+ Patients who successfully pass through the selection process are more likely to live a longer life.
Disadvantages

– It requires major surgery.
– You may have to wait for a donor to appear.
– Your body may reject the new kidney, so it is possible that a transplant will not last you a lifetime.
– You will have to take immunosuppressants, which can cause complications.

Collaborate with your health care team
Questions you can think of:

  • Is the transplant the treatment that suits me best? Why?
  • What are my chances of the transplant succeeding?
  • How can I find out if one of my relatives or friends can be the donor?
  • What risks does the family member or friend who donates run?
  • If none of my relatives or friends donate, how do I go on the waiting list for a kidney? How long will I have to wait?
  • What are the symptoms of rejection?
  • How long does the transplant work?
  • What are the side effects of immunosuppressants?
  • Who will be part of my health care team? How can these people help me?
  • With whom can I talk about financial issues, sexuality or concerns related to my family?
  • How or where can I talk to other people who have had to face this decision?
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