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Department of Kidney Transplant

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Overview

When your kidneys aren’t functioning properly, excess fluids and waste accumulate in your body. Dialysis is one way to address this issue, but if it becomes ineffective, your doctor might recommend a kidney transplant.

While it’s considered a last resort, a kidney transplant offers greater freedom in your daily life. Moreover, survival rates are typically higher after a kidney transplant compared to ongoing dialysis. However, it’s essential to understand that a kidney transplant is a crucial surgery. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.

Quick Facts To Read Under Kidney Transplant

What is a kidney transplant?

In a kidney transplant surgery, a healthy kidney is placed from a deceased or living donor into a person whose kidneys are no longer functioning.

Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs on each side of the spine, below the ribs. Each kidney is almost the size of a fist. The kidneys’ primary function is to filter the waste and remove unnecessary fluid and minerals from the blood through urine.

What is end-stage kidney disease?

When your kidneys lose their ability to filter waste effectively, harmful levels of waste and fluid can build up in your body. This can lead to elevated blood pressure and ultimately result in kidney failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease. End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys have lost approximately 90% of their function.

Here are some of the reasons for end-stage kidney disease:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis — an inflammation and eventual scarring and inflammation of the tiny filters present in your kidneys (glomeruli)
  • Polycystic kidney disease

Those with end-stage renal disease need to remove the waste from their bloodstream, and this is done by a machine (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.

What is the best treatment option for End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD)?

The number one option for ESKD is kidney (Renal) Transplantation due to the following reasons:

  • Improved survival
  • Better quality of life
  • Cost-effective
  • High success rate

Who needs kidney transplantation?

Patients with end-stage kidney disease are specially assessed for suitability of kidney transplants. Cancer patients or patients having other active infections are not eligible for transplant.

A special assessment is done on the following patients:

  • Old age
  • Critical lung, liver, or heart disease
  • Chronically ill patients like HIV-positive patients
  • Psychiatric Illness

Who can donate kidneys?

Living Donors

Indian Law permits the near ones of the patient to donate organs. Spouses, siblings, daughters, sons, parents & grandparents are all considered close relatives.

If a family member cannot donate a kidney due to the difference in blood group and if another pair is having the same issue, the donors are exchanged/swapped for kidney transplantation. This is called a Swap Transplant.

The doctors will properly assess living donors. The donors need to have excellent mental and physical health and be free from underlying conditions like diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, HIV, cancer, hepatitis, & organ diseases that are related to the kidney, lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestine.  

The living donors must be over 18 and compatible with the recipient/transplant candidate. They are also assessed from psychosocial and medical aspects.

Deceased Donor/Cadaver Donor

A brain-dead person is considered a deceased donor. In addition, a person is also declared dead when the brain is dead, but the heart is still in function. The heart is expected to function for hours or days at this stage. In this period, with the family’s consent, various tissues and organs can be used for transplantation.

What is the success rate of kidney transplantation?

Overall, the kidney transplant success rates are excellent. For example, transplants from deceased donors have up to 85 to 90% success rate for the first year, so after one year, 85 to 90 out of 100 kidney transplants will still function well.

Living donor transplants have a 90 to 95% higher success rate. There is no age barrier, as long-term success is great for people of all ages.

What if the donor’s blood group does not match the recipient/transplant candidate?

If the donor’s blood group doesn’t match, then three options are considered for such patients:

  • Blood group Incompatible transplantation (ABO)
  • Living donor Paired kidney exchange (LDPE)
  • Deceased donor (cadaver) donor listing

What can kidney donors expect?

The kidney donation procedure is the same as for donors with blood group compatibility. The special treatments are only done for patients receiving the transplant.

What Happens During Surgery?

During a typical kidney transplant surgery, which lasts about 3 to 5 hours, you’ll be under anaesthesia to ensure you’re asleep and comfortable throughout the procedure. The surgeon will make an incision just above your groin in the abdominal area.

The healthy kidney from the donor will be placed inside your abdominal cavity. The surgeon will then connect the donor kidney’s ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidney) to your bladder.

Afterward, the incision is carefully closed with sutures or stitches. A small drain may temporarily be placed in your abdomen to remove excess fluid during surgery. Additionally, the surgeon may insert a small tube or stent into your ureter to assist with urination, which can be removed after 6 to 12 weeks.

What is the recovery period?

After the surgery, you’ll be encouraged to get out of bed and walk around daily. However, most people typically stay in the hospital for five days or less.

While you should start feeling much better within about two weeks, it’s essential to avoid driving or lifting heavy objects for approximately a month. Your doctor will likely recommend taking 6 to 8 weeks off from work to allow for proper recovery.

Since the donor’s kidney is considered a foreign object by your body, you’ll need to take a specific medication every day to prevent your body from rejecting it. This medication is crucial for the success of the transplant.

What is the cost of kidney transplant surgery?

The cost of kidney transplant surgery can vary depending on several factors. These factors may include the hospital charges, surgeon fees, anaesthesia fees, medications, pre-operative and post-operative care, and any complications that may arise during or after the surgery.

Additionally, the cost may vary based on the patient’s medical condition, the type of transplant (living donor or deceased donor), and any other medical services that may be required.

It’s important to note that the cost of kidney transplant surgery is often determined on a case-by-case basis. You can contact our team to discuss your specific situation and receive an accurate estimate for your treatment. Our team is here to assist you and provide the necessary information regarding the cost of kidney transplant surgery.

Why choose Sahyadri Hospital?

At Sahyadri Hospital, our Urology & Nephrology department is highly regarded nationwide, especially for our advanced dialysis services. We have a specialized renal transplant program that covers both living and cadaveric transplants, ensuring comprehensive care for our patients.

But what truly sets us apart is our commitment to holistic patient care. Our transplant unit goes beyond just the surgical procedure; we focus on understanding and addressing the overall health concerns of our transplant patients and their families. By integrating our services and providing personalized care, we ensure that every aspect of our patients’ well-being is taken care of throughout their transplant journey.

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