Renal or kidney transplants are often recommended to patients with end-stage renal diseases. In this procedure, a healthy, donor kidney is transplanted into the body of a patient who is suffering through renal failure.
There are typically two types of donors. In India, a living donor must be a family member or blood relative willing to give a kidney to the patient in needs. An individual needs only one healthy kidney to survive. One can also acquire a kidney from a deceased donor who has recently passed on.
At India Health Help, we offer access to the best kidney transplant surgeons in India. Connect with them to understand the medical and legal aspects of visiting India for an organ transplant.
The most common indication for a kidney transplantation is end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Regardless of the primary cause of this disease, a patient is considered to have arrived at this stage when the glomerular filtration rage is less than 15ml/min/1.73 sq.m. Common causes of ESRD include –
- Malignant hypertension
- Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Inborn errors of metabolism
Type II diabetes is the most common known cases of ESRD. In most cases, a patient will be on dialysis at the time of transplant. That said, in some cases, people with chronic kidney disease that already have a living donor available may be asked to undergo a pre-emptive transplant before the reach the phase of dialysis.
Before you undergo a kidney transplant in India, our doctors will ask you to undergo a few tests to assess how well the donor kidney matches you blood and tissue type. Making sure that you have a close tissue match helps improve the chances of your body accepting the new organ.
In addition to this, you will also be asked to undergo a few tests that ensure your heart and lungs are free of diseases and are at no significant risk of cancers and other conditions that reduce your life span.
A typical kidney transplant surgery takes about 3 to 4 hours. In the procedure, the donor kidney will be placed in your lower abdomen and the blood vessels from the donor kidney will be connected to the veins and arteries in your body. Furthermore, the ureter from the donor kidney will also be connected to your bladder. This allows the blood to flow through the new kidney, allowing it to start doing its job of filtering and removing waste as well as to produce urine.
Your new kidney will typically begin to function right away. In most cases the damaged or diseased kidney is not removed unless there is a risk of or a pre-existing infection. The organ may also be removed if you have kidney cancer, very large polycystic kidneys or nephrotic syndrome.
After your transplant, you will have to spend several days in the hospital. Here are a few things to expect during these day –
- In some cases, it takes some time for the new kidney to start producing urine. Hence, you may have to undergo dialysis and consume diuretics to help your body get rid of excess water and salt.
- You will also be asked to take medicines that supress your immune system. This helps prevent a rejection of your new kidney. You will be expected to take these medicines all your life then on.
- During the initial weeks or months of your surgery, your body may try to reject your new kidney. Less than 20% of transplant cases experience such acute rejections. Antirejection medicines can help treat this in most cases.
- Chronic rejection or chronic allograft failure refers to a progressive loss of kidney function that may take several months or even years. While there is little understanding of the causes of such rejection, there is no treatment for this outcome of your transplant.
RISK AND COMPLICATIONS
Like any other surgery, getting new kidneys come with their own set of risks and complications. They include –
- Rejection of the new organ
- Severe infection
- Reaction to the anaesthesia used in the surgery
- Failure of the donor kidney