What Happens After A Kidney Transplant
After kidney transplant surgery, your child will spend a few days in the hospital to recover. The health care team will watch closely to make sure there are no complications from the surgery, such as bleeding or infection.
You and your child will learn about the medicines needed to keep the body from rejecting the new kidney. These are called immunosuppressants. Taking them can make your child more likely to get infections, especially in the days right after surgery. So keep your child away from sick people, and have everyone at home wash their hands well and often.
For the first couple of months after surgery, you’ll see the doctor often to make sure the new kidney is working well. If your child gets a fever or soreness in the area of the transplant, tell a doctor right away. These could be signs that the body isn’t accepting the new kidney or that your child has an infection.
Being A Living Kidney Donor
If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to enhance or save someone elses life. Both you and the recipient of your kidney can live with just one healthy kidney.
If you are interested in living kidney donation:
- Contact the transplant center where a transplant candidate is registered.
- You will need to have an evaluation at the transplant center to make sure that you are a good match for the person you want to donate to and that you are healthy enough to donate.
- If you are a match, healthy, and willing to donate, you and the recipient can schedule the transplant at a time that works for both of you.
- If you are not a match for the intended recipient, but still want to donate your kidney so that the recipient you know can receive a kidney that is a match, paired kidney exchange may be an option for you.
Another way to donate a kidney while you are alive is to give a kidney to someone you do not necessarily know. This is called living non-directed donation. If you are interested in donating a kidney to someone you do not know, the transplant center might ask you to donate a kidney when you are a match for someone who is waiting for a kidney in your area, or as part of kidney paired donation. You will never be forced to donate.
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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The Problem Of Pressure
Pressure on the donor from other family members can be an issue and there may be pressure to donate a kidney to a family member who is unwell, even if the donor is not entirely sure that it is the right thing for them to do. For donors, it is therefore important to consider all these issues before you even volunteer for the initial tests. It can be harder to think clearly about the issues once, for example, you are told that your kidney could be a suitable match for the recipient.
Is There A Downside To A Kidney From An Older Donor
When studies have compared older kidneys — those from people over age 50 or even over age 70 — to kidneys from younger donors, they’ve found some minor differences.
Kidneys from younger donors seem to work better over the long term. But people who get older kidneys are just as likely to be alive 5 years after a transplant as those that receive younger kidneys. Plus, the chances of complications from the procedure, and of organ rejection — when someone’s immune system attacks their new kidney — are the same with kidneys from all age groups.
The takeaway from these studies is that kidneys from older donors can work, but younger people in need of a kidney may want to consider being matched with younger donors.
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Is It Better For A Friend Or Loved One To Donate Rather Than A Stranger
Its not necessarily better, but sometimes its easier. Many of us would love to help a family member in need by donating a kidney. But we often see older adults who refuse to take a kidney from their willing son, daughter, or spouse. Theyd rather wait on the transplant list than put their family member at perceived risk.
Unfortunately, people often have to wait several years on the transplant list to get a kidney. Every year, 4,500 people die while on the kidney transplant waiting list, according to data from the Living Kidney Donor Network. One bad infection while a patient is on dialysis can cause an illness from which he or she wont recover.
Living kidney donation is an incredibly selective and safe process. Fewer than 4 percent of living donors from 2006 to 2008 experienced complications that required medical intervention or hospital admission six weeks after donating.
We simply dont allow people to donate their kidneys if we think their future health will be at risk, even if the recipient is someone they really love. In fact we do not meet the potential recipients to keep the entire evaluation process entirely separate from him or her. This is to avoid any conflict of interest which could impact the decision on the donor eligibility. My No. 1 focus in my role on our transplant nephrology team is the safety of the donor. We determine who can safely donate through our rigorous application process.
Living Donation And Older Adults
Its easy to see why a donated kidney or another organ should be in good shape before it saves a new life. Our organs can decline as we age, but the process happens faster in some people and slower in others, Dr. Chin explains.
Older people typically can donate as many organs as younger people, he said. Active infection and cancer are typically the only absolute reasons for not being accepted.
Different transplant centers have different upper age limits for living organ donation. Our age limit is 75 years, said Christina Burnett, RN-BC, CCTC, who coordinates living donor transplants at the AdventHealth Transplant Institute .
Many times, as we age, our kidney function generally declines and many people dont have a kidney that works well enough to donate, she says. We have had patients donate as old as 70 at the time of donation.
In general, an older kidney donor is a better fit for an older recipient. The 84-year-old Texas donor says he doesnt want to keep his record as the oldest living donor.
“I just hope it motivates others that are healthy, no matter what age, to donate,” he said. “And hopefully somebody 85, 86, will donate. No big deal. It’s a number.”
We believe in the power of organ donation to save the lives of those who receive them and enrich the lives of those who give. If youd like to learn more about organ donation or transplant, visit our website or call .
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Donor Eligibility And Evaluation
Potential donors must meet certain criteria to be considered. They must be at least 18 years old and must not have any of the following:
- Uncontrollable hypertension
- History of pulmonary embolism or recurrent thrombosis
- Bleeding disorders
- Chronic lung disease with impairment of oxygenation or ventilation
- History of melanoma
- Bilateral or recurrent kidney stones
- Chronic kidney disease of stage 3 or less
- Proteinuria, or high levels of protein in the blood (more than 300 mg/d, excluding postural proteinuria
- HIV infection
The donor must be in excellent health, well informed about transplantation and able to give informed consent. Before donating a kidney, the person must successfully complete a full medical, surgical and psychosocial evaluation.
The evaluation will include tests to ensure that the donor and recipient have compatible blood and tissue types. Some patients have several family members who are compatible potential donors. In other families, none are suitable. UCSF offers several programs to help patients with willing but incompatible donors .
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.
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Benefits Of Receiving A Kidney From A Living Donor
Receiving a kidney from a living donor has many advantages over deceased kidney donation. On average, kidneys from living donors last longer and there is usually less of a wait.
Once a potential living donor comes forward, it usually takes 3-6 months for them to have all their tests and for the operation to be arranged. If youre not yet on dialysis but your kidneys are failing, this makes it more likely that a kidney transplant can be done before you eventually need dialysis. They can also be can be planned in advance so they almost always happen during the day.
Kidney Donation After Death
You can register your decision to donate your organs after death through the Australian Organ Donor Register. Kidney transplants have a high success rate and by donating after death, you will be giving someone the potential to have a longer and more active life than they would have had on dialysis treatment.A transplant from a deceased donor can be used for medically suitable people who have been stabilised on dialysis.You must be declared dead before your organs and body tissues can be used. The two legal definitions of death in Australia are:
- brain death when a person’s brain permanently stops functioning
- circulatory death when a person’s heart permanently stops functioning in their body.
The type of death and the health of the organs and tissues of the potential donor dictate how the organ and tissue donation process will occur, and which organs and tissues can be donated.
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Am I Healthy Enough To Donate A Kidney
Your doctor will do some tests to find out for sure. Theyâll check your blood and urine, and may also do an ultrasound or take X-rays of your kidneys. You may not be able to donate if you have medical issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.
If your doctor gives you the green light, theyâll schedule you for surgery. You can expect to take 4 to 6 weeks to recover. Be sure to line up someone to help you during that time.
You don’t usually have to change your routine or even your diet to get ready for surgery.
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Finding the best ways to do good.
Two summers ago, my father asked if I would give him one of my kidneys.
He was 70 at the time, suffering from kidney disease. I was 39 with a wife and two young kids, and I was blindsided by his request. I just said, Ill think about it. Give me the information.
I did think about it. A year later, my father and I found ourselves at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, where doctors would remove one of my kidneys and transplant it into him. It was one of the most difficult decisions Ive ever made and in the end, while it was certainly gratifying, what truly convinced me to do it was that all the facts and data told me that it was simply the sensible, practical, right thing to do.
You may have read Dylan Matthewss account on this very site of his kidney donation to a total stranger. It was a remarkably generous act, and I admire him deeply for it.
But that experience is fairly uncommon. The fact is that 95 percent of live donors give their kidneys to someone they know. Out of the more than 6,000 live donor transplants made last year in the United States, some 300 were donated to strangers. Most donors never thought this is something we would do until faced with the prospects of a loved one going into kidney failure.
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What Are The Advantages Of Living Donation Over Deceased Donation
Kidney transplants performed from living donors may have several advantages compared to transplants performed from deceased donors:
Can You Still Drink If You Donate A Kidney
. Keeping this in consideration, how long after donating a kidney can I drink alcohol?
If you have a history of heavy alcohol use, it’s important that you tell our doctors. You should not return to drinking alcohol after surgery until advised it is safe to do so by the transplant team. Avoid aspirin or non-steroidal medications, such as Advil or Motrin, for seven days before surgery.
Secondly, can donating a kidney shorten your life? Donating a Kidney Doesn’t Shorten Donor’s Life. However, the findings do show a higher rate of death in the first 90 days after surgery for the live kidney donors compared with the control group. And certain subgroups have a greater mortality risk over the long-term than others.
Keeping this in view, what are the side effects of donating a kidney?
Possible long-term risks to donating a kidney include hyper-tension , hernia, organ impairment and the need for organ transplant, kidney failure, and death.
Can you donate a kidney with thyroid disease?
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should not pose a problem for kidney donation, but each transplant center established their own criteria for who they will permit to be a donor. Hence, your daughter will have to be evaluated and make sure she is otherwise healthy and able to donate a kidney.
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Why Does Cannabis Not Mix
Many transplant centers have living donor programs and are required to have CMS-evaluated stringent protocols regarding how they evaluate living donors. These donors undergo an extensive evaluation, which includes an independent living evaluation and a psychosocial evaluation, both required by both UNOS and CMS.
While transplant programs across the country have different rules regarding marijuana use in a living donor, most treat marijuana use the same way they treat tobacco use. Both are a risk, and donors are asked to demonstrate a stopped use for 30 days.
Cannabis may also interact with immunosuppressant drugs given post-transplant. Smokers have increased risk of lung infections, and since transplant candidates already have compromised immune systems, doctors say cannabis use can significantly increase the risk of contracting deadly Aspergillosis fungal infections during the transplant process.
How much risk does cannabis really pose versus the benefit that the patient potentially gets from getting the transplant?
Maine is an example of more stringent transplant criteria. After two organ recipients who were cannabis smokers died from the fungal infection, Maine enacted a policy to remove cannabis consumers from the waitlist. Once cannabis-free, they can be added back in.
What Should I Expect From Surgery And Kidney Donation Recovery
Kidney donation surgery is done under general anesthesia and typically takes about 2 to 3 hours. During the surgery, your medical team will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level. Surgeons usually do laparoscopic surgery, which is less invasive. This type of surgery uses smaller incisions, causes less scarring, and can mean a shorter kidney donation recovery time. Afterward, its common to stay in the hospital for a few days.
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