How Long Do Kidney Transplants Last
There are a number of factors which affect how long a transplanted kidney lasts.
These include whether or not the kidney came from a living donor, how well the kidney is matched in terms of blood group and tissue type, and the age and overall health of the person receiving the donation.
If you have a kidney transplant that fails, you can usually be put on the waiting list for another transplant. You may need dialysis in the meantime.
You Dont Have To Be Related To Someone To Donate A Kidney To Them
In fact, one in four living organ donors is not biologically related to the recipient . Spouses, in-laws, close friends, church members, and even members of the same community can all be living donors.
It’s true that family members have a higher chance of being a good match. But living donor transplants are more successful compared to kidneys from deceased donors because these kidneys come from living donors.
Will I Be Able To Obtain Insurance Coverage After Donation
Your health insurance should not be affected by donation. The Affordable Care Act has made it illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to cover you or charge you more because you have a pre-existing condition.
However, some living donors have reported either having difficulty getting life insurance or facing higher premiums for life insurance. In such cases, it may be necessary for transplant centers to inform the insurance carrier of existing data that report that the patient is not at increased risk of death because of donation.
If you already have insurance, check your insurance contracts carefully to see if living donation would affect your current policies. You might also want to consult with a lawyer who is knowledgeable about insurance law.
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Get Your Systems Moving
As you recover, there can be a bit of juggling required between pain medication, anesthesia, food and your digestive system. Anesthesia and pain medication can cause constipation, as well as nausea. Anti-nausea medication, a laxative, and stool softener help manage both. Since you haven’t eaten since the night before surgery, you may be starving when you get to your room. For some people however, food is the last thing on their mind. If you’re hungry and feeling ready to make up for lost meals, don’t. Your digestive system has been asleep and takes time to wake up. Putting too much in before it’s up and going can cause a big backup. The best approach is to drink lots of liquids and ease into eating.Your lungs need attention as you recover, too. During surgery your breathing slows down and becomes shallower. Deep breathing exercises after surgery help refill the tiny sacs in your lungs and prevent pneumonia. Many hospitals have you do breathing exercises using a small, hand-held tool. Coughing helps clear your lungs, too. Coughing with an abdominal incision isn’t much fun. Hugging a pillow against your belly when you cough takes the edge off the pain. Most people are in the hospital for two nights after surgery. But that can vary, depending on how your recovery is going. Some people may need an extra night or two. Other people do so well they have the option of going home after one night. But that doesn’t mean you have to. Take advantage of being cared for!
Wallee Felt A Bit Isolated At First Though The Environment Was Perfect For Recovery He Could
I went through a period of, it was kind of isolation because, even when I came back to this house, his friends were actually abroad on holidays. So we were in the house alone with somebody caring for us.And so it was just a totally new experience. The neighbourhood we lived in was very quiet, perfect. Beautiful, comfortable, low house with a big garden. So it was easy to sleep and relax and rest. Then the people whose house we were in returned from their holidays. And I got on with them very, very well, and I just continued to make progress, you know walking the dog, just going for walks and eating, sleeping, resting. And eventually the doctor gave me permission to travel. And I flew to Copenhagen for a week and then I went to Greece for two weeks. And I stayed in my friends house because he was still recovering. So I actually stayed in his house in Greece, on this Greek island, and we spoke on the phone. So it was an unusual circumstance, but it was so, still if I think about it, it was so powerful.
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The Nhs Organ Donor Register
In the UK, consent is required before organs can be donated. A person can give their consent to become an organ donor after death by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register or by discussing their wishes with loved ones.
Alternatively, a person’s organs can be donated if consent is obtained after their death from an authorised person, such as a relative or friend.
Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is quick and simple, and will only take a few minutes of your time. You can remove yourself from the register at any time, and you can specify what you’re willing to donate.
Page last reviewed: 20 August 2018 Next review due: 20 August 2021
Why Do Donors Need Health Insurance If The Recipient’s Insurance Pays For Everything
All donors are required to have health insurance in the event that any medical issues/diagnoses arise during the course of their evaluation to be a donor.
In this instance, the recipient’s insurance does not cover the donor’s medical expenses, so the potential donor must have health insurance in place to ensure that they will be covered in such a circumstance.
Kidney donation may also be considered a pre-existing condition. Although current law largely prohibits the denial of insurance based on pre-existing conditions, some insurance companies are still allowed to deny coverage for this reason. This is another reason why obtaining health insurance prior to donation is important.
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How Safe Is Donation
If you are thinking of donating a kidney, it is important to consider your decision carefully. One of the most frequently asked questions is, How safe is it to live with one kidney? After all, most of us are born with two! Donor safety is a priority. Regardless of the need for kidneys, donation is not acceptable if the donor is put at excessive risk of harm, so every effort is made to minimise the chance of problems. Being a healthy person is not the same as being a suitable donor. For example, you may have been born with only one kidney and only discover this when you put yourself forward for tests. This would obviously prevent you donating a kidney, but it does not mean that you are not healthy.
Donation is not risk-free. Your medical team will discuss the main risks with you as you go through the process and you will need to consider these carefully when deciding whether you wish to be a donor.
This information does not cover detailed medical questions it is designed to give you general information about donating a kidney based on the advice of medical professionals and currently accepted guidance in the UK, from the research that is available to them. Your healthcare team will discuss risk with you in more detail and on an individual basis, particularly if there are certain concerns about you or your recipient because of your lifestyle, medical history or demographic, as risk must be considered on an individual basis based upon your individual circumstances.
Kidney Donation Surgery And Recovery
The types of surgery that living kidney donors undergo to remove their kidney has evolved significantly over the past 50 years. In this section, we will review the different types of surgery, the typical recovery period for today’s living kidney donors, and the things donors can do to maintain their health long into the future.
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Recovery After Kidney Donation
After kidney donation surgery, you wake up in the recovery area, likely surprised that three to four hours have passed and it’s all over. It doesn’t take long to realize that your body’s been through a major event. You’re groggy and possibly have pain. You may be nauseous from the anesthesia. Nurses monitor your vital signs, as well as your pee output, thanks to a catheter.
Recovery after kidney donation Phase 1: Out of surgery.
How Does Living Donation Affect The Donor
People can live normal lives with only one kidney. As long as the donor is evaluated thoroughly and cleared for donation, he or she can lead a normal life after the surgery. When the kidney is removed, the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney.
Physical exercise is healthy and good for you. However, it’s important for someone with only one kidney to be careful and protect it from injury. Some doctors think it is best to avoid contact sports like football, boxing, hockey, soccer, martial arts, or wrestling. Wearing protective gear such as padded vests under clothing can help protect the kidney from injury during sports. This can help lessen the risk, but it won’t take away the risk. Talk to your healthcare provider if you want to join in contact sports.
Donors are encouraged to have good long-term medical follow-up with their primary care doctors. A urine test, a blood pressure check and a blood test for kidney function should be done every year.
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Managing Pain After Surgery
Nurses give you pain medication as you need it. This is not the time to tough it out, even if you’re hesitant to take prescription medication for pain. Keeping pain under control helps you recover and heal. Many donors feel nervous about taking narcotics, worrying about becoming addicted. Using the medication in the hospital as needed and at home during your recovery helps you feel more comfortable, move better and heal. Most transplant centers use a nerve block in the area of the incision, which allows you to move easier, without pain around the main incision, at least while you’re in the hospital. It’s amazing how much it helps when you may be dealing with other issues, like nausea or gas pain.
Paul Had Some Pain At First And Felt A Bit Constipated He Recovered Quite Quickly He Went Into
I came home by train, train and car from the station and then I was at home, pottering around. I spent a fair amount of time lying down or in bed. Obviously it was a bit sore at times and I needed some reasonable strength painkillers, but it wasnt a big deal.I got a bit constipated, which I think is always, and I know from what people tell me, thats always something that is a bit of a nuisance and always gets people down a bit. And it was just quite interesting to have the experience myself. So I look on it as a kind of learning experience and it didnt last that long. But, for a few days, I think it was probably the symptom in a way that troubled me most. Even more than the pain.But I actually got better quite rapidly. I went out to lunch, a half hours drive away, the next weekend on the Saturday. I can remember I didnt have much appetite still at that stage, but I was fit enough to travel. And in fact, though I probably shouldnt have done, I actually went and did a clinical session about a week later, after the operation. And I think, probably in retrospect, I wasnt entirely well. I dont think I did anything dangerous. Im sure I was fine. But anyway, so shortly after that I started driving again. So I was driving within a fortnight and I have no doubt that I was quite safe to do so. It was quite comfortable.
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Special Programs For Living Donor Transplantation
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
Laparoscopic Kidney Donation Surgery
Living kidney donation, or nephrectomy, is a major surgery, but recent medical advancements make it possible to minimize the impact on the donor.
The surgery generally lasts two to three hours while the patient is asleep under general anesthesia. At Froedtert Hospital, all living kidney donation surgeries are laparoscopic, which means the kidney is removed using a few small incisions, the largest of which will be only about three inches long. With laparoscopic nephrectomy, patients have less visible scarring, shorter hospital stays and a more rapid return to normal activities.
Living kidney donors at Froedtert Hospital receive care on an inpatient unit dedicated to transplant patients. Patients can expect to be discharged from the hospital within a few days, and to be back to work and their regular routines in less than two weeks. Driving and lifting may be restricted for a few weeks after surgery.
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Living With One Kidney
It makes sense to ask, if we’re born with two kidneys, how can we live normally with one? It’s another one of those wonders of how the human body adapts and compensates when it needs to. When you donate a kidney, cells in the remaining kidney enlarge to handle the filtration and work that two did before. Obviously, when you give away a healthy kidney, keeping your remaining kidney healthy becomes a priority. Long term, donating a kidney has minimal risks on your overall health. Kidney donors have a slight increased risk for developing high blood pressure and women who become pregnant after donating have a slight increased risk of developing preeclampsia.
Research has shown that donating a kidney doesn’t change your life expectancy. You do have a slight increase in risk for developing kidney failureless than one percentand if you do, your donation gives you priority status, moving you to the top of the waiting list.
Can You Live With One Kidney
- Living Kidney Donor Surgery
- 10 Things to Know About Living Kidney Donation
When most of us think about kidney donation, we think of checking a box on our drivers license in case of an accident. But you dont have to be deceased to donate a kidney. Being a living kidney donor is actually more commonand safethan you might think.
Living kidney donations save thousands of lives each year. What do you know about being a living kidney donor?
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Living Donor Kidney Transplantation
Living donor kidney transplants are the best option for many patients for several reasons:
- Better long-term results
- No need to wait on the transplant waiting list for a kidney from a deceased donor
- Surgery can be planned at a time convenient for both the donor and recipient
- Lower risks of complications or rejection, and better early function of the transplanted kidney
Any healthy person can donate a kidney. When a living person donates a kidney the remaining kidney will enlarge slightly as it takes over the work of two kidneys. Donors do not need medication or special diets once they recover from surgery. As with any major operation, there is a chance of complications, but kidney donors have the same life expectancy, general health, and kidney function as most other people. The kidney loss does not interfere with a woman’s ability to have children.
Potential Barriers to Living Donation
- Age < 18 years unless an emancipated minor
- Uncontrollable hypertension
- Bilateral or recurrent nephrolithiasis
- Chronic Kidney Disease stage 3 or less
- Proteinuria > 300 mg/d excluding postural proteinuria
- HIV infection
- Shorter recovery time in the hospital
- Quicker return to normal activities
- Very low complication rate
The operation takes 2-3 hours. Recovery time in the hospital is typically 1-3 days. Donors often are able to return to work as soon as 2-3 weeks after the procedure.
Can Donating A Kidney Shorten Your Life
Compared to the general population, kidney donors have similar life spans. One research study even found that kidney donors may live longer than nondonors.
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