Kidney Transplant Surgery
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney into a person with kidney failure.
Kidney transplants are one of the most common transplant operations around the world. One donated kidney is required to replace the work formerly done by your kidneys.
The donated kidney can come from:
• Living related donor - related to the patient receiving the transplant, which includes parent, sibling, or child
• Living unrelated donor - like a friend or spouse
• Deceased donor - a person who has recently died and has no identified chronic kidney disease. The healthy kidney is transported in a unique solution that preserves the organ for up to 48 hours. This provides the doctors time to perform tests to make sure that the donor's and recipient's blood and tissue match.
PROCEDURE FOR A LIVING KIDNEY DONOR.
If you are donating a kidney, you will be placed under general anesthesia prior to the surgery. This means you will be asleep and pain-free. Surgeons these days can often use small surgical cuts with laparoscopic method to remove the kidney.
PROCEDURE FOR THE RECIPIENT OF THE KIDNEY.
People receiving a kidney transplant are given general anesthesia prior to the surgery.
• The surgeon makes a cut at the lower section of the belly.
• Your surgeon will position the new kidney inside your lower belly. The artery and vein of the new kidney are joined to the artery and vein at the pelvis. Your blood flows through the new kidney, which produces urine just like your own kidneys was doing when they were healthy.
The tube that transports urine (ureter) is then attached to your bladder.
• Your own kidneys are left in its position unless they are causing a medical issue. The wound is then closed.
Kidney transplant surgery takes about 3-4 hours.
Why the procedure is Performed.
You may require a kidney transplant if you have end-stage kidney disease. The most common cause of end-stage kidney disease around the world is hypertension and diabetes. However, there are many other causes.
A Kidney Transplant may NOT be carried out if you have:
• Some infections, such as TB or bone infections
• Problems taking medicines several times each day
• Heart, lung, or liver sickness
• Some other life-threatening diseases
• Recent history of cancer
• Infections, such as hepatitis
• Current behaviors such as smoking, alcohol or drug abuse, or other risky lifestyle habits
Specific risks related to this procedure include:
• Blood clots (deep venous thrombosis)
• Heart attack or stroke
• Wound infections
• Side effects from medicarions used to prevent transplant rejection
•Transplanted kidney loss
Before the Procedure
You will be evaluated by a team at the transplant center. They will want to ensure that you are a good match for a kidney transplant. You will have several visits over a period of several weeks. You will need to have blood taken and x-rays carried.
Tests carried out before the procedure includes:
• Tissue and blood typing to aid make sure your body will not reject the donated kidney
• Blood tests or skin tests to check for any infection
• Heart tests like an EKG, echocardiogram or cardiac catheterization
• Tests to look for early cancer
After the Procedure
If you have received a donated kidney, you will need to stay in the hospital for about 3 to 7 days. You will require a close follow-up by a doctor and regular blood tests for 1 to 2 months.
Roughly everyone feels that they have a better quality of life after the transplant. Those who get a kidney from a living related donor perform better than those who get a kidney from a donor who has died. If you donate a kidney, you can most regularly live safely without complications with your other kidney.
Persons who receive a transplanted kidney may sometimes reject the new organ. This implies that their immune system sees the new kidney as a foreign substance and tries to destroy it.
In order to prevent rejection, almost all kidney transplant recipients must often take medicines that suppress their immune response for the rest of their life. This is called immunosuppressive therapy.
A successful kidney transplant will require a close follow-up from your doctor and you must always take your medicine as instructed.
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