The kidneys are bean shaped organs situated just below the ribcage. They are usually in pairs and are essential in the excretory system of the body. Incase of any dysfunction or failure to perform its function, one may need to opt for a transplant. The transplant surgery, which is heterotopic, is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes about 2-4 hours.
Precautions Before Kidney Transplant
Preparing for a transplant knowing the consequences it could carry is essential. It is only after multiple visits to doctors, meeting with donors and proper tests that one should go ahead with the procedure. The major things to keep in mind before undergoing a kidney transplant would include:
- Matching the blood type and tissues
- Health status and studying medical history of both the donor and the recipient
- Finding the most suitable donor
- Blood tests and organ compatibility of donor and recipient
- Medicines that both the recipient and donor are consuming
- Other risk factors that may cause complications in the procedure
- Testing of antibodies to prevent rejection and complications post the transplant
Benefits of a Kidney Transplant:
The benefits of going through a kidney transplant include:
- An improved quality of life
- Lowered risk of dying
- Freedom in diet with a regulation of daily activities
- Lower treatment cost than other procedures
Very often, a successful kidney transplant can prevent the need for a person to go through a dialysis. A kidney transplant once performed, sustains the individual for at least 15 years on an average and has a 95% success rate. However, there can be several complications that one may face in this procedure.
Any treatment would have its pros and cons. The complications that one may face in the kidney transplant procedure include:
- Rejection of the transplant entirely
- Excessive bleeding during or post the transplant procedure
- Blood Clots
- Leakage in the ureter
- Blockage of the ureter
- Side effects of immunosuppressant
- Failure of the transplanted kidney
- Seizures or collapse (usually uncommon but can be a serious complication)
Rejection of the transplant might occur due to the immune system acting on it. It produces antibodies that do not recognize the presence of the newly attached kidney. This rejection occurs within the first 6 months of the transplant and is usually prevented with the use of anti-rejection medication. Over time, the immune system and the human body familiarizes itself with the transplant and allowing its sustenance.
Due to the attack of the immune system on the newly attached transplant, it becomes a little weak and the body is prone to infections. These are usually prevented through medication before the transplant itself, to prevent complications later but if the recipient faces a situation like this, it is treated with immediate effect.
The transplants vary greatly based on the age, gender and medical history of an individual. It also depends on the current bodily functions and their capability to withstand a transplant. Hence, it is of absolute importance to consider all the options before opting for a Kidney Transplant.