Q & A - Renal Transplantation (Overseas Kidney Transplant) -
Kidney transplantation is the best way to treat kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The benefits of a successful kidney transplant are many. Most people find they have increased stamina and energy. They can return to a more normal lifestyle, and those who were dependent upon dialysis can enjoy newfound freedom.
Over the years, the number of successful transplants has continued to grow. However, if a kidney transplant is not successful, the recipient can return to a regular dialysis schedule. It is possible to undergo more than one transplant.
Q. Where does a kidney come from?
Kidneys for transplantation come from two different sources - living donors, or non-living (cadaveric) donors. Living donors are usually. relatives within the third/sixth degree of consanguinity Cadaver kidneys are obtained from persons who have willed their kidneys before their death by signing organ donor cards. Permission for donation can also be given by the descendent's family at the time of death. All donors are carefully screened to prevent any transmissible diseases.
Q. How is the right kidney found for me?
Determining in advance whether a donated kidney is likely to be tolerated by your body is crucial to the success of your transplant. It is essential that your blood type and the donor's blood type - whether Type A, B, AB, or O - be compatible. Your tissue type and the donors must also be compatible. We use an HLA (human leukocyte antigens) blood test to determine your tissue type, which is the unique design of the tissue antigens that you inherited.
Your blood will also be tested to determine whether you have antibodies to other tissue. Antibodies are substances your body produces to destroy foreign materials. While you wait for a kidney, you are asked to supply several tubes of blood each month to monitor these antibodies. Some of the blood will be stored and used for testing compatibility with potential donors. All blood tests are performed in the Tissue Typing Lab.
The Kidney Transplant Procedure
Kidney transplantation involves placing a healthy kidney into the body where it can perform all of the functions that a failing kidney cannot. In most cases, the diseased kidneys, located in the back area, remain undisturbed. The new kidney is positioned in the pelvic area where it is surgically connected to nearby blood vessels.
Thanks to years of experience, research, and improved medications that prevent rejection, kidney transplants are overwhelmingly successful, and postoperative complications for transplant patients are few. On average, 85-90% of kidney transplants are successful for at least two years, the traditional measurement point for success, and most for many years more.
Q. Where does your new kidney come from?
Kidneys for transplantation come from two sources: living donors and deceased (non-living) donors. Living donors are usually immediate family members or sometimes spouses. Deceased donor kidneys usually come from people who have willed their kidneys before their death by signing organ donor cards. Permission for donation can also be given by the deceased person's family at the time of death.
All donors are carefully screened to make sure there is a suitable match and to prevent any transmissible diseases or other complications.
Q. What happens during the kidney transplant procedure?
Kidney transplantation involves placing a healthy kidney into the body where it can perform all of the functions that a failing kidney cannot.
The new kidney is placed on the lower right or left side of your abdomen where it is surgically connected to nearby blood vessels. Placing the kidney in this position allows it to be easily connected to blood vessels and the bladder. The vein and artery of your new kidney are attached to your vein and artery. The new kidney's ureter is attached to your bladder to allow urine to pass out of your body.
Q. What happens to my old kidneys?
In most cases, the diseased kidneys are not removed. Three conditions might require your diseased kidneys to be removed:
Repeated infection that could spread to the transplanted kidney
Uncontrollable hypertension caused by your original kidneys
Backup of urine into your kidneys (a condition called reflux)
Q. What are the benefits of kidney transplantation?
A successful kidney transplant gives you increased strength, stamina, and energy. After transplantation, you should be able to return to a more normal lifestyle and have more control over your daily living. You can have a normal diet and a more normal fluid intake.
If you were dependent on dialysis before the transplant, you'll have more freedom because you won't be bound to your dialysis schedules. Anemia, a common problem with kidney failure, might be corrected after transplantation. If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), you could be on fewer blood pressure medications after transplantation.
Q. What are the risks of kidney transplantation?
The risks of kidney transplantation are the same as those of any surgery. There is a risk of bleeding, infection, or breathing problems. You also might experience some side effects from the medications, and you could be more prone to infections since the medicine you will take after transplantation lowers your body's ability to fight infection.
There is also the risk of rejection. Since the body recognizes the new kidney as a foreign object, it will normally try to get rid of it or "reject" it. However, you are given medicine to prevent rejection.
Because of years of experience, research, and improved medicines that prevent rejection, kidney transplants are very successful with few complications after transplantation.
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