Kidney transplantation or renal transplantation is the best method to treat kidney failure or End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
When a physician or nephrologist confirms that you require a kidney transplant, you can get in touch with the Kidney Transplant Surgical Team to schedule a pre-transplant evaluation. This evaluation, which usually takes only a day, comprises a comprehensive physical examination and consultations with members of your personal transplant team.
Where does a kidney come from?
Kidneys for transplantation come from two sources namely; living donors, or non-living or cadaveric donors. Living donors are generally immediate family members or at times spouses. Cadaver kidneys are usually obtained from individuals who have willfully pledged their kidneys before their death by signing organ donor cards. The descendant’s family can also provide permission for donation of kidney at the time of his/her death. All donors are cautiously examined to prevent any transmissible diseases.
How is the right kidney found for me?
Determining whether or not your body could tolerate a donated kidney is extremely important for the success of the transplant. For this, it is crucial that your blood type and the donor’s blood type as well as the tissue types are compatible. An HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigens) blood test is used to determine your unique tissue type.
A blood test will also be conducted in order to determine the presence of antibodies in the tissue. The blood test will also help to check for compatibility with the potential donors. Antibodies refer to substances that the body produces for destroying foreign materials.
Kidney transplant: The procedure
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.
The new kidney is positioned on the lower right or left side of your abdomen. It is surgically attached to the surrounding blood vessels and the bladder. The vein and artery of the new kidney are connected to the other veins and arteries in your body. The new kidney’s ureter is connected to your bladder, which enables the urine to pass out of your body.
Conventionally recipient surgery is performed by open technique. However, Dr Pradeep Rao along with his team members take extreme pride in successfully performing first ever robotic recipient surgery in state of Maharashtra. Robotic surgery results in rapid recovery and minimum wound complications.
We also perform all donor surgeries laparoscopically. Hence the donors recover faster and result in less pain, better scars and early return to work with reduced hospital stay.
Benefits of kidney transplantation
- Enhanced strength and energy.
- Patients can resume to a more normal lifestyle.
- You can continue a normal diet and consume more of fluids.
- You will have more freedom after the surgery because you won’t be restricted by your dialysis schedules.
- Certain conditions such as anemia and hypertension (high blood pressure) might be corrected after kidney transplantation.
Risks of kidney transplantation
- Chances of the new kidney being rejected by the body. However, you would be administered medication to prevent rejection.
Recovery from Kidney Transplant Surgery
Here are some general guidelines which you need to follow to ensure a faster recovery. These include:
- Do not lift heavy objects and avoid strenuous physical work for at least six to eight weeks after the surgery.
- Do not consume alcohol or liquor for at least six weeks after the surgery.
- Daily exercises which include stretching exercises, walking, bicycling, tennis, swimming, and aerobics are recommended. However, rough contact sports must be avoided.
In most cases, kidney transplant patients can resume their normal activities within a few months after a successful surgery.
Recommendations for female transplant patients
Rejection of the new kidney by the body and high blood pressure are two major risks a woman might experience for at least one year following kidney transplant surgery. Hence, it is extremely important to prevent a pregnancy during this period by taking the necessary precautions. However, you can have a healthy pregnancy later.
Immunosuppressive medicine prescribed during kidney transplantation could result in increased susceptibility to different types of cancer. So, female transplant patients should take an annual PAP test (a test to detect cervix cancer) and a mammogram.
Recommendations for male transplant patients
Male transplant patients might sometimes experience difficulty with erections following the surgery. This could be the result of a reduction in the flow of blood to the penis, or due to a transplant medicine. In most of the cases, this situation can be rectified.
Regular follow up with surgical team as well as nephrology team is extremely crucial.