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A kidney transplant is a surgery in which a diseased / failed kidney is replaced by a healthy kidney into the patient body. The kidneys function to filter and remove excess minerals, waste, and fluid from the body in the form of urine. Failure of Kidney leads to an excess filling of waste and fluid in the patient body, this condition is known as uremia.

As a result, the patient starts suffering from swelling in hands, high blood pressure, weakness, and tiredness. As the disease progresses, the condition gets worse and affects other body parts. When 90% of the kidney function is lost, the patient has an end-stage renal failure. At this juncture, a patient needs either dialysis(where waste is regularly removed from the bloodstream via a machine) or a kidney transplant.

Also, Read about What is Diabetic Kidney disease?

Low Failure Rates

For deceased donor kidneys, the chances of transplanted kidney failing in the first year are only 4%. For living donor kidneys, it’s even lower at 3%.

Body possesses symptoms when it rejects the kidney taken by any donor.

Fever A cough Vomiting Nausea Pain, especially while peeing Producing less urine than normal, It is important to immediately see the doctor when the patient experiences any of these.

 

A Kidney Transplant Surgery Involves a Lot of Medication process.

After a kidney transplant, patients need to take anti-rejection medications. Since these medicines suppress the immune system, they also have to end up taking antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal medications to protect their body against infection.

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Tests Before Kidney Surgery

Before proceeding for a kidney Surgery, the nephrologist starts the process with some tests. These tests include blood, tissue and compatibility tests with the donor's kidney. Some of the tests are listed below, have a look.

The process begins with the blood type compatibility with the recipient, after this a tissue typing test is done and then the crossmatching. Below, is the list of more tests performed in kidney transplant.

  • Blood Test: In this test, the compatibility of blood is checked with the donor.

  • Tissue Test: It is again a blood test that is performed to examine a number of antigens the patient and donor share. These antigens are helpful to recognize the difference between two people’s body tissues.

  • Cross - Matching: Antigens are the genetic markers which make everybody a unique body. It is a blood test that is done to check whether the donor’s kidney reacts to your kidney or not, if it doesn't react to the patient’s kidney, the result is a negative cross-match. This means the transplant surgery can happen.

Causes of Acute Renal Failure

When the kidneys fail to filter and clean the blood, the condition is known as renal failure. This causes unsafe levels of waste products to build up. Unless it is treated, this can cause death. Some common causes of renal failure are listed below,

  • Diabetes Polycystic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure 
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis — an inflammation and eventual scarring of the tiny filters within the kidneys (glomeruli)

Dialysis vs Kidney Transplant Surgery

Dialysis is an ongoing process that is expensive, time-consuming and painful for the patient. Hence, many patients prefer a kidney transplant. This gives more freedom and flexibility to the patient and a chance to resume their normal lives. Kidney transplant also has better survival rates. In certain cases, however, the doctors may advise against a kidney transplant. This includes situations like advanced age, active cancer, severe mental illness, alcohol, heart disease, and dementia.

Life After a Kidney Transplant

While a transplant helps you treat and manage your kidney disease it is not a cure, and kidney failure can always recur. For deceased donor kidneys, the chances of transplanted kidney failing in the first year are only 4%. For living donor kidneys, it’s even lower at 3%. However, if we look at this number 5 years after transplant it goes up to 21% for deceased donor kidneys and 14% for living donor kidneys. Thus, there is a possibility of recurrence of kidney failure even after the kidney transplant at which point the patient and the doctor need to decide on whether dialysis or another transplant is the best option. Nonetheless, a kidney transplant allows the patient to live a healthy and relatively normal life for many years and should definitely be considered by patients who are eligible.

Risks in Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is a major surgery and naturally carries some risks with it. There are three major kinds of risks associated with a kidney transplant.Below is the list, have a look.

  • The first risk is the possibility of your body rejecting the kidney or the new kidney failing. However, this is a very rare occurrence.
  • The second set of risks come with the complexity of the procedure. These include Blood clots Bleeding Allergic reaction to general anaesthesia Infection transmitted with the donated kidney Death, heart attack and stroke during the surgery Leakage from the ureter Blockage of the ureter.
  • The third set of risks comes from taking the anti-rejection medication that helps prevent your body from rejecting the new kidney. These include Weight gain Bone thinning Increased hair growth Acne A higher risk of developing certain skin cancers

Types of Kidney Donors

There is a different type of kidney donors, the names are used to describe the biological and anatomic functions of donor's kidneys. It depends on the patient that what type of kidney S/he chooses for the transplant. Given below is the list of the types, have a look.

  • Double Kidney Transplants: It is the transplantation of both donor's kidneys into the patient body.

  • Standard Criteria Donors: The kidneys used in this type of transplant process belong to the donor with age group below 50.

  • Expanded Criteria Donors (ECD): Donors in such kidney transplants age between 50 and above. Also, these donors might have a history of high creatinine level or high blood pressure.

  • Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD): The heart beats of such donors stop before the organ removal for transplantation.

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The information provided on this webpage contains general information about medical conditions, causes, symptoms & treatments. The information is compiled from open sources that were available to us and is solely for the purpose of general reading & not a result of thorough research or tests conducted in laboratories. Therefore, the contents of this article are neither medical advice nor intended to replace consultation with a medical practitioner, and should not be treated as an alternative to medical diagnosis or treatment from your doctor, or any other healthcare professional.
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  • Also known as Renal Transplantation surgery

  • A kidney transplant is a surgery in which a healthy kidney from a live or deceased donor is placed into the body of the patient whose kidneys have failed.

  • Treatable by medical professional

  • Requires medical diagnosis

  • Requires lab tests and imaging

  • Requires general anaesthesia

 

Treatment of Kidney transplant

Consulting a well-experienced nephrologist is the best way to avail treatments. The nephrologist examines your health history and prescribes you a few tests.On the basis of symptoms and test results , diagnosis is provided.

Symptoms of Kidney transplant

The symptoms of renal failure are felt mostly in the body organs like legs, lungs, and chest. The most common symptoms are

  • Leg Swelling.

  • Feeling tired.

  • Nausea and Vomiting.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Sleep problems.

  • Changes in urination.

  • Decreased mental sharpness.

  • Muscle twitches and cramps.

  • Persistent itching.

  • Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart.

  • Shortness of breath if fluid builds up in the lungs.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that's difficult to control.

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