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. The functions of the kidneys include getting rid of waste materials from the body, releasing hormones, controlling blood pressure, producing RBCs and Vitamin D, which are necessary for the good health of bones.
Reasons for Kidney Failure
A kidney transplant is opted for in case of a kidney failure. It could be caused by any or multiple of the following reasons:
- High Blood Pressure
- Burns/ Injuries
- Certain anemia
- Liver failure or liver disease
- HIV infection
- Previous kidney transplants
- Vascular diseases
- Genetic history
- Heart disease or heart attack
- Urinary diseases
- Glomerular diseases
There could be other reasons for a kidney failure as well, however, these pose the most serious threats to a person and require them to take immediate action.
Things to Keep in Mind Before the Transplant
If a person decides to undergo under a transplant procedure after consultation with the doctor, there are certain things to keep in mind before going forward with it. The major essentials to keep in mind include:
- Matching the blood type and tissues
- Studying the health status and 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
Kidney Transplant Procedure
For the transplant to take place, kidneys can be received from either a deceased donor or a living donor. A living donor can lead a healthy life even with a single, normally functioning kidney. First and foremost, it is important to match the tissues and blood type of the liver being chosen for transplant with that of the recipient. Only after they match, and the functionality is checked, can it be processed further.
The transplant surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Because of this, the person barely feels any pain or discomfort during the procedure. There may be a slight pinprick feeling or almost unnoticed discomfort. The duration of the operation varies from 2 to 4 hours and is a heterotopic transplant. In such a transplant, the kidney is placed in a different location than the existing kidneys. The kidney transplant is surgically placed in the front part of the lower abdomen, in the pelvis.
The original kidneys are not usually left untouched unless they are causing severe problems such as uncontrollable high blood pressure, frequent kidney infections, or swelling. The artery that carries blood to the kidney and the vein that carries blood away is surgically connected to the artery and vein in the pelvis of the recipient and the ureter that carries urine from the kidney is connected to the bladder.
The recovery post surgery can take up to a week in the hospital.