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How Is A Kidney Transplant Done

Have Your Kidney Transplant

What Is a Kidney Transplant?

During kidney transplant surgery, a surgeon places a healthy kidney into your body. Youll receive general anesthesia before the surgery. The surgery usually takes 3 or 4 hours. Unless your damaged kidneys cause infections or high blood pressure or are cancerous, they can stay in your body. Surgeons usually transplant a kidney into the lower abdomen near the groin.

If youre on a waiting list for a donor kidney, you must go to the hospital to have your transplant surgery as soon as you learn that a kidney is available.

If a family member or friend is donating the kidney, youll schedule the surgery in advance. Your surgical team will operate on you and your donor at the same time, usually in side-by-side rooms. One surgeon will remove the kidney from the donor, while another prepares you to receive the donated kidney.

Who Might Need A Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant may be an option if your kidneys have stopped working entirely. This condition is called end-stage renal disease or end-stage kidney disease . If you reach this point, your doctor is likely to recommend dialysis.

In addition to putting you on dialysis, your doctor will tell you if they think youre a good candidate for a kidney transplant.

Youll need to be healthy enough to have major surgery and tolerate a strict, lifelong medication regimen after surgery to be a good candidate for a transplant. You must also be willing and able to follow all instructions from your doctor and take your medications regularly.

If you have a serious underlying medical condition, a kidney transplant might be dangerous or unlikely to be successful. These serious conditions include:

  • cancer, or a recent history of cancer

Your doctor may also recommend that you dont have a transplant if you:

  • smoke
  • drink alcohol in excess
  • use illicit drugs

If your doctor thinks youre a good candidate for a transplant and youre interested in the procedure, youll need to be evaluated at a transplant center.

This evaluation usually involves several visits to assess your physical, psychological, and familial condition. The centers doctors will run tests on your blood and urine. Theyll also give you a complete physical exam to ensure youre healthy enough for surgery.

Kidney donors may be either living or deceased.

What Are The Risks Of Kidney Transplantation

The risks of kidney transplantation are the same as those of any surgery. There is the 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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Celebrities And Kidney Transplants

The United States celebrity-fueled social media culture means many celebrities have become increasingly open about their health journeys, sharing personal stories about everything from wellness tips to lifesaving organ donations. Stevie Wonder, who announced to a sea of fans that he would be receiving a kidney transplant from a living donor at the end of 2019, recently updated his fans on his post-transplant progress. While celebrity reputation has no effect on a persons status on the transplant waiting list, an announcement like Steve Wonders reaches his millions of fans with a strong message about the importance of living organ donation. The question is, with about 109,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list in the U.S. how can we use celebrity voices to elevate the conversation about organ transplants and increase the number people both living and deceased who choose to make a lifesaving gift?

Donor Recipient Selection Process

Surgeon Perfusing Donor Kidney For Transplantation ...

The process to be approved for the transplant list may start when your kidney disease is first noticed and you are referred to a nephrologist . Your nephrologist may be able to treat your disease for many years, but when it worsens and it becomes clear that dialysis and the need for a transplanted kidney are becoming a reality, you’ll be referred to a transplant center.

Once it is determined that an organ transplant is appropriate, you’ll be placed on the transplant list by the center. This means you are added to a national database run by the United Network of Organ Sharing that allows donors and recipients to be matched when an organ becomes available.

The transplant list is actually a very large database of over 112,000 individuals waiting for various types of organ transplants. When an organ becomes available for transplantation, a complex mathematical algorithm is used to create a unique list of the potential recipients for that organ. Thousands of these lists are generated on a monthly basis each one is unique to a specific organ being donated by a specific donor.

To give you a sense of the demand for donated kidneys:

  • 82% of patients waiting for an organ donation are waiting for a kidney.
  • The average wait time for a kidney from a deceased donor is three to five years.

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Experts Say This Is The Most Advanced Experiment In The Field So Far

Gene editing was done to stop the human body from recognising the organ as foreign

  • Using pigs for donor organs has advantages over monkeys and apes
  • They have large litters and organs comparable to humans
  • Pig heart valves, skin grafts, corneas have been earlier used in humans

In a first, surgeons have successfully attached a pig’s kidney to a human and monitored the pinkish organ function normally for more than 50 hours. They hope this breakthrough could address donor organ shortages for life-saving transplants one day. While complex medical procedures similar to this have been done before on primates, it’s the first time a pig kidney has been transplanted to a human body and not been immediately rejected. The surgeons tried the procedure in a brain-dead recipient, meaning the person was already on life-support with no prospect of recovering.

Experts say this is the most advanced experiment in the field so far and can drastically increase the supply of life-saving organs to people waiting for them across the world. The kidney for this experiment came from an animal that was genetically modified, Associated Press reported.

Gene editing was done to stop the human body from recognising the organ as foreign and rejecting it. After the surgeons attached the pig kidney to the human body, it started filtering the waste, produced urine and didn’t trigger rejection.

Living Donation Occurs When A Living Person Donates An Organ Or Part Of An Organ For Transplant To Another Person In Need

It is one of the most important sources of organs for transplantation. It accounted for 255 transplants in Ontario in 2012 and represents a significant portion of the increase in organ donation over the past ten years. However, the availability of organs from living donors does not meet the crucial need of around 1,600 Ontarians on transplant waiting lists. This is why it is critically important to encourage colleagues, friends and family to consider registering their consent to organ and tissue donation. Living donors are most often family members or close friends of the recipient. Other types of living donation are available and include anonymous donation, list exchange and paired exchange.

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What Is The Average Life Expectancy After A Kidney Transplant

The life expectancy after kidney transplantation may depend on a number of factors, including the donor kidney a living or deceased donor, how well the kidney is matched for blood group and tissue type, and the age and overall health of the patient receiving the donors kidney.

On average, a kidney from a living donor lasts is known to last about 15 to 20 years. Some may last even longer if proper care is taken by the recipient. Patients in the age group of 40 or less may have a life expectancy of around 22 years after a kidney transplant.

However, with increasing age, such as with people in the age group of 50, the life expectancy goes down to 16 years, and those in their 60s may have a life expectancy of 11.5 years after a successful kidney transplant. If a kidney transplant fails, the patient is usually put back on the waiting list for another transplant. They may also need dialysis in the meantime.

An Example Of A Kidney Transplant Technique

Living Donor Kidney Transplant Milissas story

After you have been put to sleep under anaesthetic, the surgery will begin.

Your own kidneys will usually be left where they are, unless they’re causing problems such as pain or infection. First, an incision is made in your lower abdomen , through which the donated kidney is put into place.

A kidney is usually transplanted into the right or left groin.

The blood vessels in your groin will be found, and joins will be made between the blood vessels of the kidney and your blood vessels. There is usually one join for the vein, and one join for the artery.

Blood flow through these vessels will be temporarily stopped while the stitching is being done.

Once the blood vessels have been stitched together, blood will be allowed to flow through the kidney and to your legs.

If the surgeon is happy with the blood flow, they will then make a join between the tube that carries urine from the kidney to your bladder. Usually, a short piece of soft plastic tubing is placed inside the ureter to help the connection to heal. The stent will be taken out several weeks after the surgery, which is a simple procedure.

After this, your groin and tummy muscles and skin are stitched back together.

More information

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Special Programs For Deceased Donor Transplantation

Expanded Criteria Donor Program

Although the most commonly transplanted deceased donor kidneys come from previously healthy donors between the ages of 18 and 60, kidneys from other deceased donors have been successfully transplanted. The goal of this program is to use organs from less traditional donors more effectively so that more patients can receive kidney transplants.

Kidney Transplants from Less Traditional Deceased Donor Category

  • Age 60 or older
  • Between the ages of 50-59 with at least two of the following conditions:
  • History of high blood pressure
  • A serum creatinine level greater than 1.5
  • Cause of death was from a stroke or a brain aneurysm
  • Patients who are most likely to benefit from a kidney through this program are dialysis patients who are older and have a greater risk of problems, including death, while waiting for a transplant. Accepting a kidney from an expanded criteria donor may shorten the waiting period for a transplant. Patients who are considered for this type of transplant also remain on the waiting list for standard kidney offers.

    Hepatitis C Donor Program

    About 8% of patients on the deceased donor waiting list have the Hepatitis C virus. By accepting a kidney from a deceased donor who also had Hepatitis C, these patients could shorten the waiting time for a deceased donor kidney.

    HIV Program

    Making A Kidney Dialysis Choice

    The type of dialysis treatment you choose to have may be influenced by a number of factors including:

    • personal lifestyle
    • personal preference
    • health and medical suitability.

    If you need to have dialysis, your healthcare professional will discuss the pros and cons of the different options with you, your family, and your healthcare team. It is usually possible to change between dialysis options if one treatment no longer suits.

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    What Is A Kidney Transplant

    A kidney transplant is a surgery done to replace a diseased kidney with ahealthy kidney from a donor. The kidney may come from a deceased organdonor or from a living donor. Family members or others who are a good matchmay be able to donate one of their kidneys. This type of transplant iscalled a living transplant. People who donate a kidney can live healthylives with one healthy kidney.

    A person getting a transplant most often gets just 1 kidney. In raresituations, he or she may get 2 kidneys from a deceased donor. The diseasedkidneys are usually left in place. The transplanted kidney is placed in thelower belly on the front side of the body.

    What Can I Expect After My Kidney Transplant

    Kidney transplant, France

    Knowing what to expect can help make your road to recovery after a kidney transplant as smooth as possible.

    How long will it take to recover?You will move to an intensive care unit after surgery. ICUs provide 24-hour specialized monitoring and care.

    It may take a few hours until the major effects of anesthesia wear off and you are alert. When you wake up, you may have a breathing tube in your mouth and tubes and wires attached to your body. These allow your team to monitor your vital signs, drain bodily fluids, take blood, and give medications and fluids.

    You will not be able to talk if you have a breathing tube. It is usually removed in 24 to 48 hours. You may also have a . This is usually temporary, but tell your care team if you are uncomfortable.

    You will move to a hospital room outside the ICU as you recover. This room will have equipment to monitor your vital signs. A typical hospital stay after a kidney transplant is three to seven days.

    Recovery after surgery is a gradual process. Recovery time varies depending on the procedure, type of anesthesia, your general health, age, and other factors.

    Your doctor may refer you to a support group program to help you through your recovery process. Full recovery takes eight to 12 weeks.

    • Bleeding

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    Learn How To Get Started

    A person who donates a kidney to someone in need is called a living donor, and a person who needs a kidney is called a transplant candidate.

    Any adult who is in good health can be assessed to become a living donor. Every potential donor must have a complete medical checkup to make sure they are healthy enough to donate a kidney to a person in need.

    The kidney donation process involves an operation to remove one kidney from the donor and another surgery to place the kidney into the transplant candidate. After the donation, the donors remaining kidney starts to work harder, to make up for the removed kidney. The donor should have a checkup with a doctor every year to make sure their remaining kidney is still working correctly.

    Types of living donation

    Directed donation

    This type of donation occurs when a potential donor knows a transplant candidate and is a match to that person. Directed donors can be biologically related to the transplant candidate or unrelated .

    Non-directed anonymous donation

    This type of donation occurs when a person offers to donate a kidney that could go to anyone they match who needs a kidney transplant. A donation like this can help one transplant candidate if the kidney is given directly to someone on the waitlist. Alternatively, this type of donation might help several people through the Kidney Paired Donation program. In this program, a kidney donation from one NDAD can kick-start a chain of donor exchanges.

    The First Pig To Human Kidney Transplant Has Been Done And It Is Fascinating

    Whoa. This is next-level, sci-fi stuff right here, and we are lucky to get to witness it happening in our lifetime!!

    Doctors have officially performed the first pig to human kidney transplant, and it appears to have worked.

    This is potentially great news for those who have spent years waiting with their name on a transplant list.

    The doctors transplanted the pig kidney into a patient who was brain-dead but showed signs of kidney dysfunction.

    Before the recipient of the kidney was to be taken off life support, her family agreed to have this ground-breaking experimental surgery done on their loved one.

    The procedure done at NYU Langone Health in New York City involved the use of a pig whose genes had been altered so that its tissues no longer contained a molecule known to trigger almost immediate rejection.

    CNN Health

    Doctors attached the donor kidney to the patients blood vessels, but kept the kidney itself right outside of the body. This gave the researchers the access they needed to monitor the pig kidney and the patient.

    The time right after the kidney was transplanted was the most crucial period. They had to wait to see if there was an immediate rejection of the pig kidney by the recipients immune system.

    They painstakingly waited three whole days to see if the new kidney would take.

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    First Successful Pig Kidney Transplant In A Human Is Performed

    In a medical first, surgeons at NYU Langone Health in New York City performed a transplant of a genetically altered pig kidney into a human body. The doctors successfully attached the organ to a brain-dead woman in a two-hour operation at NYU Langones Kimmel Pavilion on September 25, according to details…

    Special Programs For Living Donor Transplantation

    Top 6 questions about living donor kidney transplant

    Many patients have relatives or non-relatives who wish to donate a kidney but are not able to because their blood type or tissue type does not match. In such cases, the donor and recipient are said to be “incompatible.”

    See also: National Kidney Registry

    Live Donor to Deceased Donor Waiting List Exchange

    This program is a way for a living donor to benefit a loved one, even if their blood or tissue types do not match. The donor gives a kidney to another patient who has a compatible blood type and is at the top of the kidney waiting list for a “deceased donor” kidney. In exchange, that donor’s relative or friend would move to a higher position on the deceased donor waiting list, a position equal to that of the patient who received the donor’s kidney.

    For example, if the donor’s kidney went to the fourth patient on the deceased donor waiting list, the recipient would move to the fourth spot on the list for his or her blood group and would receive kidney offers once at the top of the list.

    Paired Exchange Kidney Transplant

    This program is another way for a living donor to benefit a loved one even if their blood or tissue types do not match. A “paired exchange” allows patients who have willing but incompatible donors to “exchange” kidneys with one another-the kidneys just go to different recipients than usually expected.

    That means that two kidney transplants and two donor surgeries will take place on the same day at the same time.

    Blood Type Incompatible Kidney Transplant

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