Kidney Transplant

A Kidney Transplant is the treatment for kidney failure and involves the implantation of a healthy kidney from a donor in the recipient’s abdomen. Kidney transplantation is essential in the case of people suffering with end-stage kidney disease and who are dependent on dialysis for lifetime. Kidney failure occurs when toxic wastes accumulate in the body due to the inability of the kidney to carry out its function of filtration and blood pressure rises. Common reasons for failed kidneys include diabetes, polycystic kidney disease and chronic glomerulonephritis.       

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The signs/symptoms observed which indicate kidney failure or end stage kidney disease are – 

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in patterns of urination
  • Swelling in feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hypertension
  • Muscle cramps

Kidney failure can be diagnosed by renal ultrasound in which sound waves are used to form images of the kidney using a transducer. A renal biopsy is also essential to examine tissue samples of the kidney under the microscope and helps view the abnormal cells. Kidney failure can also be diagnosed by an Intravenous pyelogram in which all abnormalities of the kidney, ureters and bladder can be observed.

The surgery in which the diseased kidney is replaced by a healthy kidney is known as Kidney Transplant. The donor may be a recently deceased person or a living person (preferably a family member). 
A large incision is made in the lower abdomen and the compatible donor kidney is placed. The recipient’s kidney is not removed unless it has an infection. The connection between the blood vessels and the donor’s kidney are done suitably and the ureter of the kidney is connected to the bladder. The incision is finally closed with surgical stitches.  

 

The major risk involved in Kidney Transplant is kidney rejection. The immune system may treat the donor’s kidney as foreign and may obstruct its functioning. Post-surgery there are also chances of blood clots and infections. The patient may have a stroke during surgery. There are possibilities that at first the donor kidney is unable to perform its function and there is leakage or blockage of urine. There also may be blockage of blood vessels to the new kidney. 

Post-surgery, the patient is discharged after one week, however takes at least 6 months to recover completely. It is essential that the patient keeps taking the prescribed immunosuppresants in order to prevent kidney rejection. Regular blood tests will be conducted and blood pressure will also be monitored by the doctor. 
 
In case of observing the following signs that indicate possibilities of rejection, it is of prime importance to call the doctor immediately. 
  • Fever
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Change in urine patterns
  • High blood pressure
  • Swollen hands or feet
  • Rapid changes in weight

Kidney Transplant from one of the best multi-speciality hospital: Jaslok Hospital And Research Centre, Peddar Road, Mumbai

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