A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure that patients of kidney disease go through in order to replace a non functioning kidney with a live one that is healthy and functions well. Other methods to treat this disease also include dialysis, which basically is an artificial way of doing what our kidneys are designed to do. When dialysis does not work, many doctors recommend a kidney transplant. A replacement or donated kidney can come from a living donor or a non-living donor. This new kidney will mostly work towards keeping the blood clean, which is a function that stops when the old and diseased kidneys fail.
So, here's a list of five essential facts that you need to keep in mind if you are looking at a kidney transplant:
- Donors: While there are living and non-living donors, the doctor will have to ensure that your donor is someone who has no medical history of complications, kidney disease or any other medical condition like diabetes or hypertension. Also, the donor would have to have two proper functioning kidneys. Further, one of the most important factors is the blood group. The blood group of the donor and the patient must match for the transplant to be possible.
- Procedure: During the surgery, the patient will be under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision in the lower abdomen area and the blood vessels of the new kidney will be connected surgically with the vein and iliac artery of the patient. Thereafter, any excess fluid will be drained before wrapping up the surgery.
- Rejection: The patient's body may also reject the kidney. The immune system of the patient may mistake the new kidney as an attacking body and its natural defenses may work against it, which will lead to complications. For this, doctors usually prescribe immunosuppressant medicines that will help in preventing such an eventuality.
- Longevity: While a living donor's kidney may last longer, a non-living donor's kidney will not enjoy such a long life. In such cases, a second transplant can be conducted.
- Diet: After the transplant, the patient will be required to go through a number of measures like coughing to show that the lungs are clear, as well as administration of fluids and some amount of examination and dialysis. Also, the patient will have to have a special diet that includes raw fruits and vegetables, and plenty of non-fat dairy ingredients.
A kidney transplant is a major operation that can change your lifestyle in the long run.