Kidney Transplant- Gastroenterology, Transplant

Kidney Transplantation or renal transplantation is the organ transplant of a kidney into a patient with end-stage renal disease.

Common causes of end-stage renal disease include:
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis (an inflammation and eventual scarring of the tiny filters within your kidneys)
  • Polycystic kidney disease

Successful kidney transplants eliminate the patient’s need for dialysis (having waste removed from the blood stream via machine) as the healthy transplanted kidney takes over from the two failed kidneys.

While dialysis is an effective method for keeping an end-stage renal disease patient alive, a kidney transplant is likely to result in a better quality of life, lower risk of death and fewer dietary restrictions. Eventually, treatment costs are also significantly reduced.

Types of kidney transplants

Kidney transplantation is typically classified as deceased-donor (formerly known as cadaveric) or living-donor transplantation depending on the source of the donor organ.

Living-donor renal transplants are further characterized as genetically related (living-related) or non-related (living-unrelated) transplants, depending on whether a biological relationship exists between the donor and recipient.

How to prepare for a kidney transplant

  • Your first step is to choose a treatment centre for your kidney transplant. Below is a checklist of questions you should ask while making this important decision:
  • How many transplants does the centre undertake each year?
  • What is the survival rate of patients?
  • Are there official national statistics available?
  • Is the centre using the latest methods and technologies?
  • What are the costs? (required tests, organ procurement, surgery costs, hospital stay, transportation, follow up appointments, medications etc)
  • What additional services are required or provided? (insurance, support groups, accommodation for post-surgery recovery etc)

After your kidney transplant

Once your transplant surgery has been successfully completed, you can expect to stay in hospital for approximately one week, until your new kidney is making urine (which may start immediately) and the medical staff are satisfied that no complications will arise.

You can expect to return to work and resume normal activity 3-8 weeks post-surgery, however there will be restrictions on physical activity and lifting.

Regular check-ups will be required by medical staff as you recuperate. This may involve blood test and medication adjustments several times a week after your surgery. If you have travelled to have the procedure completed, for example: if you had your kidney transplant in Thailand, you should plan to stay in the country for several weeks post-operation to account for monitoring and recovery.

To learn more about Kidney Transplant, please check our blog on ADJUSTING TO LIFE AFTER A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT & KIDNEY TRANSPLANT: WHEN AND HOW IT'S DONE.

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