What Are The Risks For Kidney Transplant
As with any surgery, complications can occur. Some complications mayinclude:
Blockage of the blood vessels to the new kidney
Leakage of urine or blockage of urine in the ureter
Lack of function of the new kidney at first
The new kidney may be rejected. Rejection is a normal reaction of the bodyto a foreign object or tissue. When a new kidney is transplanted into arecipient’s body, the immune system reacts to what it thinks as a threatand attacks the new organ. For a transplanted organ to survive, medicinesmust be taken to trick the immune system into accepting the transplant andnot attacking it as a foreign object.
The medicines used to prevent or treat rejection have side effects. Theexact side effects will depend on the specific medicines that are taken.
Not everyone is a candidate for kidney transplantation. You may not beeligible if you have:
Current or recurring infection that cannot be treated effectively
Cancer that has spread from its original location to elsewhere in the body
Severe heart or other health problems that make it unsafe to have surgery
Serious conditions other than kidney disease that would not get better after transplantation
Failing to follow the treatment plan
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Besure to discuss any concerns with your transplant team before theprocedure.
What Are The Side Effects Of Living With One Kidney
Some studies have indicated that there is a slightly higher chance of a small increase in your blood pressure or the amount of protein in your urine as a result of having one kidney. However, these are checked at annual followup and, if found, can be treated.
The overall risk of developing significant kidney disease in your remaining kidney after donation is very low, occurring in less than one in 200 donors, and it is much less in kidney donors than it is in the general population .
Whilst most women have uncomplicated pregnancies after donation, there is a slightly increased risk of gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia.
Three Things I Was Not Expecting When I Donated My Kidney
People often call living organ donors heroes, but I was not looking to wear a superhero cape. Instead, I wanted to give my friend another chance at life. It is an odd feeling to know that one organ in your body can completely change another person’s life, which is why I was so fortunate to be a perfect match for my friend Matt Fulgieri, who needed a lifesaving kidney donation back in 2007. Donating my kidney was no heroic act. It was just the right thing to do, but through it all, I learned some lessons along the way.
Donating a kidney has a huge emotional effect on a donor’s family.
From day one, my wife, Maryellen, was extremely supportive of my decision. Neither of us could bear to watch this disease take our friend Matt, “the family man,” away from his wife and kids. Being a father myself, I could not even imagine my girls growing up without me cheering them on from the sidelines of their soccer games, taking an embarrassing number of pictures at their high school prom or walking them down the aisle at their wedding. It really put things in perspective for both me and Maryellen when we thought about what life would be like for Matt’s children to grow up without their dad, which is one of the reasons it was such an easy decision for me to get tested.
You cannot learn everything you need to know online you have to talk to others who have been there.
You will have some unexpected bumps in the road after surgery.
Read Also: What Can Mimic Kidney Stones
What Happens When Your Kidneys Fail
Kidneys act as a natural filter for all the waste products produced in the body, they also help to regulate the fluid and electrolyte balance. They help to keep the blood pressure within normal limits and secrete a hormone which helps in red blood cell production.
When kidneys fail to perform their normal function, the waste products accumulate in the blood and the fluid balance is disturbed, this is termed as kidney failure on ESRD , which can happen gradually or suddenly. People with ESRD need dialysis or transplant to sustain life.
What Is Done To Prevent Rejection
To allow the transplanted kidney to survive in your body, you will be givenmedicines for the rest of your life to fight rejection. Each person mayreact differently to medicines.
New antirejection medicines are continually being developed and approved.Your healthcare team will tailor medicine regimes to meet your needs.
Usually several antirejection medicines are given at first. The doses ofthese medicines may change often, depending on your response. Becauseantirejection medicines affect the immune system you will be at higher riskfor infections. A balance must be maintained between preventing rejectionand making you very susceptible to infection.
Some of the infections you will be especially at risk for include oralyeast infection ,herpes, and respiratory viruses. Avoid contact with crowds and anyone who has aninfection for the first few months after your surgery.
Don’t Miss: Should You Work With Kidney Stones
Kidney Donation Process Overview
Living donors are free to confidentially withdraw at any time during the donation evaluation process and are not obligated to donate.
To learn more about testing and living donation or learn more with our living donor education booklet and .
No Life Expectancy Changes
Donating a kidney does not affect a persons life expectancy. On the contrary, studies show that people who donate a kidney outlive the average population. Twenty years after donating, 85 percent of kidney donors were still alive, while the expected survival rate was 66 percent. This may be because only healthy people are approved to become donors, or perhaps donors take additional health precautions after donating a kidney.
Also Check: Can Protein Powder Cause Kidney Stones
Kidney Failure At The End Of Life
Kidney failure can affect patients in different ways. It can progress slowly in some patients and quickly in others. For patients who deteriorate quickly, the focus of their care will be on slowing the disease and managing their symptoms. If a patient has kidney failure as well as another advanced condition, such as cancer, their health may get worse more quickly.
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.
Future Consequences Of Donation
Before donating an organ, serious thought should be given to the future consequences of a donors overall health and welfare. Studies do not indicate a significant long-term risk to the donor. Still, donation should not be taken lightly. There may be a slightly higher risk of developing high blood pressure. This usually occurs in donors over 55 years of age at the time of donation. There is also a very small risk of developing kidney failure. This is usually related to the development of kidney disease that was not present or anticipated at the time of the donation and not directly related to the kidney donation itself.
Many women have had normal pregnancies following donation and there is minimal risk to the mother and the baby. Additional monitoring may be advised by the OB/GYN physician.
The Recovery And Aftermath
Recovery from a kidney donation operation can take from two to 12 weeks depending on the persons individual progress.
Traditional open surgery
If the operation was an open nephrectomy, you may be in hospital for five to seven days, but you should be out of bed the day after the operation. Surgeons use either stitches or clips to close the incisions they made during the operation and these will be removed around 10 days after the procedure.
Before you leave hospital, a follow-up clinic appointment will be made, usually for four to six weeks later. The scars from the operation may be sensitive or sore for several weeks, and some numbness around the scar is common. There will be a permanent scar. There may also be twinges or a drawing sensation around the scars for some months, but most people feel back to normal by about 12 weeks after the operation.
If the operation was keyhole surgery, recovery time is shorter and there is usually less pain afterwards. After this type of surgery you will normally need four to six weeks of recovery time at home before resuming your normal activities. Painkillers may be needed for a while, depending on an individuals symptoms. You will be asked to come in for a follow-up appointment four to six weeks after the operation.
Getting back to normal life
You should return to exercise gradually and gently and build up any exercise routine slowly.
Don’t Miss: Will A Kidney Infection Clear Up On Its Own
For Both The Recipient And The Living Donor:
- Flexible time frame: Surgery can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for both the donor and recipient.
- Removes a candidate from the list: A living donor removes a candidate from the national transplant waiting list, which is currently above 114,000 people. This allows the people on the waiting list who cannot find a living donor a better chance of receiving the gift of life from a deceased donor.
- Immediate impact: The impact of a transplant is so striking that recipients often look noticeably healthier as soon as they emerge from surgery.
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.
Read Also: Can A Kid Have Kidney Stones
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.
What Are The Risks Of Being A Living Kidney Donor
Like any surgery, kidney donation carries the risk of surgical complications like blood clots and others, but these risks are low. You will lose a certain percentage of your kidney function after donation. This sounds scary, but after the surgery your remaining kidney will get bigger and you wont notice any difference.
Donating a kidney doesnt increase your future risk of kidney failure. However, if kidney failure occurs for whatever reason, UNOS has a priority system that ensures living organ donors are at the top of the waitlist and get it quickly. This happens very rarely.
Other risks of kidney donation include:
- Nerve damage .
Also Check: How You Get Kidney Stones
Living Kidney Donation Is Safe
If you are healthy, donating a kidney wont make you more likely to get sick or have major health problems. Like any surgery, the procedure does have some risks. But overall, living kidney donation is safe. In most cases, donating a kidney will not not raise your risk of kidney disease, diabetes, or other health problems.
What Are The Different Types Of Kidney Transplants
There are two kinds of kidney transplants depending on who donates the new kidney.
A living-donor transplant is when someone gets a kidney from a person who is still alive and well. It’s usually from a relative or close friend, but sometimes strangers donate.
A is when people donate their kidneys for transplant after they die. This requires people who need kidneys to put their names on a waiting list until a donor is found.
Don’t Miss: What Are Kidney Stones Composed Of
Your Blood And Tissue Type Must Be Compatible With Your Recipients
Besides being healthy, living donors must have compatible blood and tissue types with the kidney recipient. The transplant team will perform tests to see if your blood and tissues are compatible with the kidney recipient. If they arent, our living donor program can also educate you about the paired donation program.
What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Failure
In early stages of kidney disease, many people experience few or no symptoms. Its important to note that chronic kidney disease can still cause damage even though you feel fine.
Chronic kidney disease and kidney failure can cause different symptoms for different people. If your kidneys arent working properly, you may notice one or more of the following signs:
- Poor appetite or metallic taste of food
Also Check: Are Blackberries Good For Your Kidneys
Limitations And Clinical Implications
For example, in the USA, the median waiting time for a kidney transplant by 2011 was about 4years. Previous kidney donors who develop ESRD are highly favoured in the priority listing and are given 4 points, about equivalent to 4years waiting time, so they usually will wait only for a short time to receive a next kidney. Moreover, in general, people live three times as many remaining life years with a kidney transplant compared with dialysis. In this regional context, the physicians should not agree to an operation that would result in putting a kidney transplanted person with preserved kidney function onto dialysis. From the Wainright et als paperof the 218 living kidney donors who developed ESRD, 131 were added to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network kidney waiting list, of which 97 received deceased donor kidney transplants. Eleven received living donor transplants. Sixty-nine listings and 75 transplants occurred before initiation of dialysis. Accordingly, in countries such as the USA, while organ restitution will not likely be a large public issue, nonetheless the discussion may be important to individual donors and recipients. Conversations contemplating the full implications of kidney donation can strengthen the integrity of the transplantation process.
But Yes Kidney Donation Is A Deeply Rewarding Experience
Of course, the experience was deeply rewarding. When I see my father playing with my kids, it makes me so happy to know that he can do that because of what I chose to do. And when I talk to my parents about the next trip they are planning in retirement, it is wonderful to know that I played a role in making it happen. Best of all, when my kids get older and truly understand what I chose to do, they will view it as a normal and expected thing that you do for others.
I am proud of the decision I made. I feel great about it. The feeling of fulfillment that I have about the experience was not at all the reason I did it. But it is a lovely side benefit.
Ilan Goldenberg is the director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In July 2018, he became a live kidney donor. If you are considering kidney donation, find out more from the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Living Donor Institute, the American Kidney Fund, or the National Kidney Foundation.
Twice a week, youll get a roundup of ideas and solutions for tackling our biggest challenges: improving public health, decreasing human and animal suffering, easing catastrophic risks, and to put it simply getting better at doing good.
You May Like: Can Iron Cause Kidney Stones