What Happens Before A Kidney Transplant
If your child needs a kidney transplant, your first step is to visit a transplant center. The health care team will check to make sure that your child is healthy enough to have surgery and take the medicines needed after the transplant. This will include blood tests, X-rays, and other tests, and can take a few weeks or months.
If the transplant team decides your child is a good candidate, the next step is to find a kidney. In most cases for living donor transplants, a kidney comes from a close relative or friend who has a compatible blood type.
If a living donor isn’t found, your child’s name will go on a waiting list until a kidney from a deceased donor is matched to your child. The need for new kidneys is far greater than the number donated, so this can take a long time.
You’ll stay in close touch with the doctors and the rest of the health care team. Make sure they know how to reach you at all times. When a kidney is located, you’ll need to go to the transplant center at a moment’s notice.
While you wait for a transplant, keep your child as healthy as possible. That way, he or she will be ready for transplant surgery when the time comes. Help your child:
- eat healthy foods and follow any special diet recommendations from the doctor, nurse, or dietitian
- take all medicines as directed
- keep all medical appointments
Tell your doctor and the transplant center right away if is any change in your child’s health.
What Is The Procedure Of The Transplant
Medical professionals will give you a complete physical exam, review your health records, and order a series of tests and X-rays to learn about your overall health. Everything that can affect how well you can handle treatment will be checked. The evaluation process for a transplant is very thorough. Your healthcare team will need to know a lot about you to help themand youdecide if a transplant is right for you.
Once you choose GoMedii International, our team will keep you updated with constant health reminders and updates about your treatment and follow-ups after that as well.
What Are The Advantages Of Living Donation
There are three advantages to living donations versus getting a deceased donor kidney:
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The World Record: 56 Years
On average, a transplanted kidney from a deceased donor lasts about 15 years. We now know that survival rates are significantly better for transplants from living donors and still better for transplants from related donors.
While the Jensens have something to celebrate, its far from a record. According to Guinness World Records, the longest surviving kidney transplant patient is Johanna Rempel of Canada, whose donor was identical twin sister Lana Blatz on Dec. 28, 1960.
Most of us are born with two kidneys, bean-shaped organs each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine.
Kidneys are important because they filter waste products from our blood. When they stop working, toxic waste products accumulate in the body, and dialysis or transplantation is necessary to sustain life.
Gary Jensen, who now lives in Salem, was on dialysis for two years before he sent the letter to his brother. Three times a week, for six hours, he was hooked up to a machine that would filter and purify his blood. His kidney failure stemmed from malfunctioning ureters, the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. He was probably born with the condition, although it wasnt diagnosed until he was a teenager.
The transplant waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor was three years at the time, about the same as today. Gary wouldnt have to wait if Karl donated one of his.
Keeping Your New Kidney Healthy
To keep yourself healthy, and to make sure your new kidney works well, the following are extremely important:
- Take your immunosuppressants and other medicines exactly how your doctor told you.
- Know the signs of infection or possible kidney rejection, then contact your transplant team right away if this ever happens.
- Avoid being around people who are sick.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Eat foods low in salt, fat, and cholesterol.
- After you are cleared by your doctor, start an exercise routine such as walking, or biking.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Transplant Rejection
Rejection is one of the major concerns after an organ transplantation surgery. The bodys defense system, immune system, protects it from all foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. A new organ, which is introduced into your body during transplantation, triggers the immune system which may recognize it as a foreign invader.
This causes an immune response as the bodys immune cells attack the cells of the new organ. This is known as rejection. It can damage the new organ, especially if it is not detected early.
Some signs of kidney transplant rejection include:
- Fever more than 100° F or 38° C, with or without chills
- Tenderness or pain over the transplanted area
- Considerable swelling of hands, eyelids or legs
- Significantly decreased or no urine output
- Weight gain in 24 hours
- Flu-like symptoms such as chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, body aches, tiredness
How Is A Kidney Transplant Performed
Your doctor can schedule the transplant in advance if youre receiving a kidney from a living donor.
However, if youre waiting for a deceased donor whos a close match for your tissue type, youll have to be available to rush to the hospital at a moments notice when a donor is identified. Many transplant hospitals give their people pagers or cell phones so that they can be reached quickly.
Once you arrive at the transplant center, youll need to give a sample of your blood for the antibody test. Youll be cleared for surgery if the result is a negative crossmatch.
A kidney transplant is done under general anesthesia. This involves giving you a medication that puts you to sleep during the surgery. The anesthetic will be injected into your body through an intravenous line in your hand or arm.
Once youre asleep, your doctor makes an incision in your abdomen and places the donor kidney inside. They then connect the arteries and veins from the kidney to your arteries and veins. This will cause blood to start flowing through the new kidney.
Your doctor will also attach the new kidneys ureter to your bladder so that youre able to urinate normally. The ureter is the tube that connects your kidney to your bladder.
Your doctor will leave your original kidneys in your body unless theyre causing problems, such as high blood pressure or infection.
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Transplanted Organs Dont Last Forever
While transplanting a healthy organ to replace a diseased or failed organ can prolong life, transplants have limits. A transplanted kidney lasts on average 10 to 13 years if the organ came from a living donor and seven to nine years if it was from a deceased donor, according to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Meanwhile, a liver will function for five years or more in 75 percent of recipients. After a heart transplant, the median survival rate of the organ is 12.5 years. A transplanted pancreas keeps working for around 11 years when combined with a kidney transplant. And a transplanted lung continues to work for about five years on average, but this increases to eight years if both lungs have been transplanted, OSU also notes.
Even After Transplant You Will Still Need To:
- Take your medicines every day as your doctor tells you
- Visit your doctors regularly for follow ups
- Take care of your health, such by eating healthy foods, limiting alcohol consumption, wearing sunscreen, and making sure to be active each day
- Talk to your doctor before making any changes to what you eat or how you exercise
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How Much Does A Kidney Transplant Cost
Kidney transplant is a major surgery which can be very expensive in certain countries. The top medical destinations of the world, such as India, UAE, Thailand, Turkey offer affordable solutions for people who are willing to travel abroad for this procedure.
Different countries have different requirements and regulations regarding organ donation and transplantation procedures. Most countries allow donors who are third or fourth-degree relatives of the recipient, but it may not be possible in all countries.
The kidney transplant cost in India starts from USD 13,000 and may vary depending on different hospitals based on several factors. The same procedure in Western countries, such as the UK and USA, may cost more than USD 60,000 and range as high as USD 340,000.
The kidney transplant cost in Turkey starts from 16,500 which is significantly lower than in many other countries. The affordability of the health packages allows international patients to save a considerable amount of money on the treatment without compromising on the quality of patient services.
There are some general factors that influence the cost of procedures such as kidney transplants in a country. These mainly include:
- Type of transplant surgery
- Location of hospital
- Length of stay in the hospital and choice of room category
- Whether dialysis is needed
- Whether any other medical procedure or a special test is required
How Long Does Kidney Transplant Surgery Take For The Donor
Donor nephrectomy is a procedure in which a kidney from a donor is removed. It usually lasts two to three hours. The surgery is performed with general anesthesia, which means the person will be asleep during the procedure. The surgical team will monitor the heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen level of the donor throughout the procedure.
It is usually performed with a minimally invasive approach. Laparoscopic nephrectomy to remove a living donors kidney for a kidney transplant is offered by most hospitals. The laparoscopic nephrectomy approach is done with smaller incisions and special instruments, which results in less scarring, less post-operative pain and a shorter recovery time than is traditional open surgery to remove a kidney .
During a laparoscopic nephrectomy, the surgeon makes two or three small incisions close to the navel. The fiber-optic surgical instruments are inserted through these incisions to perform the operation. This includes a small knife, clamps and a tube with a special camera called a laparoscope, which allows the surgeon to view the internal organs and guide them through the procedure. The doctor makes a slightly larger incision below the belly button to remove the donors kidney.
Open nephrectomy is a more invasive procedure, as it involves a 5- to 7-inch incision on the side of the chest and upper abdomen. A surgical instrument called a retractor is often used to spread the ribs to access the donors kidney during the operation.
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How Can I Help My Child
Having a chronic condition can be hard for kids. Dialysis, surgery, and immunosuppressant therapy can add to the stress. Talk to your child about these changes and how you will work them into your routine. Make sure to find time to do fun things together with family and friends.
For teens, immunosuppressant therapy can be a challenge. These medicines can cause:
- getting acne or having acne that gets worse
- weight gain
- problems with increased blood sugars , sometimes requiring insulin
- high blood pressure
- increased risk of infection
These side effects are a major reason why teens are at risk for not taking their medicines after a transplant. This can be dangerous and even lead to rejection of the new kidney. Do not change or stop any medicines without talking to your doctor or nurse. In some cases, medicines can be changed to ease the side effects and still be effective and safe. Talk to about the importance of taking all medicines as directed, and help your child to do so.
How Can I Find A Living Donor
To have a living donor kidney transplant, you will need to find someone who is willing and able to give you his or her kidney. A friend or family member might offer to give you one of his or her kidneys. Or you might have to take the first step and ask a friend or a family member if he or she would be willing to be a kidney donor. It can be difficult to know how to start a conversation about organ donation. The United Network for Organ Sharing has some useful tips on how to have these discussions.
Some people do not have a friend or family member who is willing and able to donate a kidney. Your transplant team may be able to help you find a donor that you do not know, or you may be able to participate in a paired kidney exchange.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Kidney Transplant
The length of recovery after a kidney transplant depends on many factors such as:
- Type of transplant procedure
- Acceptance of the new kidney by the body
- Overall health
Each patient may have a different speed of recovery. After the procedure, the patient is shifted to a recovery area where the nurses and doctors observe for signs of complications or organ rejection. The patient is usually discharged from the hospital after a few days or a week and only after the surgeon and transplant team have checked their progress, strength and overall health.
The new kidney will start to make urine like the older ones when they were healthy. Mostly, this occurs immediately but in some cases, it can take a few days. If this happens, patients are temporarily put on dialysis until the new kidney starts to function normally.
The kidney transplant doctor will discuss precautions, such as no lifting heavy objects weighing more than 10 pounds or doing exercise until the wound has healed. It usually takes about six weeks after the surgery.
The recovery may take some time, but the ultimate results after the transplant are highly satisfactory. The transplant will allow you to have a normal active life, independence from the dialysis and restrictions with diet associated with it.
The anti-rejection medications may have some side effects and you must contact your transplant team immediately in case you experience any of the following:
- Thinning of bone or bone damage
- High blood pressure
Why Might I Need A Kidney Transplant
You may need a kidney transplant if you have end stage renal disease. This is a permanent condition of kidney failure. It often needsdialysis. This is a process used to remove wastes and other substances fromthe blood.
Remove urea and liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine. Urea is made when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the blood to the kidneys.
Balance salts, electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, and other substances in the blood
Produce erythropoietin, a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells
Regulate blood pressure
Regulate fluid and acid-base balance in the body to keep it neutral. This is needed for normal function of many processes within the body
Some conditions of the kidneys that may result in ESRD include:
Repeated urinary infections
Polycystic kidney disease or other inherited disorders
Glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units
Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare disorder that causes kidney failure
Lupus and other diseases of the immune system
Other conditions, such as congenital defects of the kidneys, may result inthe need for a kidney transplant.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend akidney transplant.
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Why Do Doctors Prefer Transplants
The reason is simple: People who get transplants generally live longer than those who get dialysis. For example, an adult whoâs 30 and on dialysis might live another 15 years. With a transplant, that number jumps to 30-40 years.
Not only do people who get transplants usually live longer, they also tend to have:
- Better quality of life. They donât spend hours each week getting dialysis, and theyâre more likely to go back to work.
- Fewer limits on their diet
- Fewer long-term health problems from the transplant than people have with dialysis
- More energy
Also, dialysis can take a toll on the body. It can cause problems ranging from anemia, where you have fewer red blood cells, to heart disease.
Answers To Common Questions
The team looking after you is not able to contact living donors on your behalf. If you would like a kidney transplant from a living donor, you will need to talk to family and friends and ask if they are interested in giving you a kidney.
Your doctor can advise on ways to do this.
- Living donors are often blood relatives. But they can also be a friend, family member, or partner
- They do not need to be the same age, blood group or tissue type as you
- Living donors must be aged 18 years or older, and be in good health
Yes. If you have a living donor but they have not yet finished all their tests , you can join the transplant waiting list for a deceased donor kidney.
However, usually once you have been given a date for your transplant operation from the living donor your name will be taken off the national waiting list.
If you are offered a deceased donor kidney but you have a potential living kidney donor who is close to completing their tests, you will need to discuss your options with your kidney transplant team. They will advise you on the best thing to do.
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