By Dr. Amit Goel, Urology
Kidney transplant surgery is a surgical procedure to replace a diseased kidney with a healthy donated one. The function of the kidneys is to remove wastes and water from the body and maintain electrolyte balance. When the kidney loses its ability to filter out the wastes, it causes wastes to accumulate in the body, something that is extremely harmful to your system.
Some complications that cause kidney failure are chronic blood pressure, diabetes, polycystic kidney disease (kidneys characterized by the formation of cysts that are filled with fluids) and inflammation of the kidneys. The donated kidney can be either from a living donor or deceased (Braindead) donor. Several tests are carried out to see how well the donor kidney will match your blood and tissue type.
Finding a match -
There are two types of organ donors: a living donor and or cadaver donor. Blood Group Compatibility between a patient and the donor reduces the chances of organ rejection and can contribute to a more successful transplant. Additionally, because medication to help prevent organ rejection is so effective, donors don’t always have to be genetically similar to the recipient.
General Anesthesia is administered for Surgery. The new kidney from a donor is transplanted usually in Right or Left Iliac Fossa i.e, at a separate site from the original kidney. The patient’s original non-functioning kidneys are removed only in certain special circumstances (Usually, it is left untouched). The arteries and veins are connected to the blood vessels of the new kidney. The ureter from the kidney is then connected to the bladder. Once blood starts to flow in the kidney, it starts to function in its usual manner.
You will have to stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery. The kidneys usually start making Urine instantaneously but it may take some time to make Urine in some conditions, and in these cases, the patient may need Dialysis to support the functioning of the kidneys. Medications are prescribed to suppress the activity of the immune system so that it does not reject the new kidney. In some cases, chronic rejection of the kidney can occur, wherein there is the progressive and gradual loss of kidney function. The exact cause of chronic rejection is not known.
Life Expectancy -
In the case of chronic kidney disease, kidney transplant surgery is known to improve life expectancy as compared to dialysis. With new and better immunosuppressant drugs, the rejection rate in kidney transplant surgeries has dropped, increasing the overall success rate of the surgery.