Kidney transplant is the replacement of a damaged or non-functioning kidney with one donated by a healthy person.
Kidney failure means that the kidneys cannot perform the needed functions and therefore must be replaced. Two kinds of treatments are available for persons suffering from kidney conditions. A person can either be treated using dialysis or transplant. Majority of people consider transplant as offering increased freedom and improved quality of life compared to dialysis. If you are in the process of making a choice between the two types of treatments, you may consider having a talk with those who have already undergone the transplant. It is also good to talk to your close people, your nurse and your doctor.
In the US, there are quite a number of centers that provide these services. However, you may need to travel to reach one from where you stay. It is good to note that many health insurance packages cover cornea transplant but that does not include the expenses incurred in travel for the operation. So, you need proper planning to put your travel expenses in check.
However, there are some charitable entities that assist patients that cannot afford to meet these travel expenses. They offer no-cost transportation for these patients.
If you already know where you will be going for a Kidney transplant, or a consult or second opinion, click here to plan your travel. Otherwise, click here to get information about facilities that specialize in Kidney transplant.
If you cannot afford travel for medical treatment, please consult our directory of charitable organizations that can help arrange no-cost transportation for you.
For more information: (links to the sections below)
- What does the kidney do in your body?
- About Kidney Transplant
- Where to go for kidney transplant?
- Donations of Kidney
- Life after kidney operation
- Who needs Kidney transplant?
There is no multiple visits requisite here. It depends on the availability of the kidney so for people traveling long distances, they don’t have to plan for multiple trips. The procedure does not depend on the donor cornea being available. The patient needs to travel at the last minute when the donor has been identified.
What does the kidney do in your body?
It mainly filters waste from the blood converting them to urine. When the kidneys fail, there is no way these waste will be removed from the body, rather they will build up. This is a serious issue and can be fatal if left unattended. This loss of functionality is referred to as end-stage chronic kidney disease or simply kidney failure. This is the main reason why patients require undergoing transplant of the kidney.
It is however possible to alleviate this severity by filtering the blood using a procedure called dialysis. This procedure is not only uncomfortable but also takes a lot of time. The better option for kidney failure is therefore transplant operation.
There are quite a number of centers that offer kidney operation in the United States. However, you may need to travel in order to access them. Insurance packages cover this procedure but do not cover travel expenses. You therefore need to make proper arrangements so that you can keep these expenses as low as possible. It’s good to note that there are charitable entities that offer assistance to those who cannot afford to meet their medical travel expenses.
About Kidney Transplant
If a kidney is being sourced from a living person, this procedure will be a carefully arranged one. However, if you are looking forward to receiving it from a cadaver, you will be contacted when one has been harvested. This type of kidney can become available at any time whether day or night. You will have to be taken through tests to ascertain you do not have new medical issues. This will be done at the operation center when you finally arrive.
The donated kidney will be connected to your blood vessels and the bladder during the surgical operation. Your failed kidneys will not be knifed out; rather they will be left in place while the new one will be inserted in your tummy (lower abdomen).
As a major operation, kidney transplant has a number of risks involved;
- Blood clots
- More risk of infections (associated with drugs taken to avoid organ rejection)
You will therefore need life-long regular medical check-ups after the operation because of these risks.
Where to go for kidney transplant?
There are quite a number of places where you can go for the operation in the country. After travelling to these centers, you will meet experts who will closely work with you and your family. These professionals will walk you through the procedure from the initial stages to determining the candidate to the final stages. The last stage is usually post-operation follow-ups.
Majority of people are able to successfully undergo transplant of the kidney without much regard to their ages. However they must pass preliminary assessments that include the following;
- They must be healthy enough to sustain the surgery effects
- It must be demonstrated that the operation has relatively fair chances of success
- The patient must demonstrate willingness to adhere to the necessary treatments after undergoing the operation. For instance, the patient must be willing to take immunosuppressant drugs as well as to honor post-operation follow-ups.
There are some reasons that can prevent you from undergoing kidney transplant. These include;
- If you already have an infection. This must be treated before-hand.
- Serious heart condition
- Cancer that has already attacked multiple areas of your body
- In three people suffering from kidney failure, one is capable of being operated successfully.
- Kidney transplant is independent of the age of the patient. Every age can be transplanted.
Donations of Kidney
To survive, a person only needs one kidney, but each person has two. You can therefore donate one comfortably while still alive. This is called living donation. Donors are first taken through tests very carefully. This is to make sure that they are healthy enough to sustain removal of the kidney and that they are suitable enough as donors.
Normally, close family members are the ones who donate kidneys. This is because these close relatives are likely to have the same blood group and tissue type lowering the risks of organ rejection. It is also possible to harvest a kidney from a fresh cadaver. However, these donations have lower success in the long-term.
The United Network for Organ Sharing is the body that oversees organ transplants in the United States. This body lets transplant patients to register at two or more transplant centers (multiple listing). This is aimed at mitigating the vivid geographic disproportion in the waiting time for tissue transplants, especially for people resident in high-demand areas like Boston. This practice been validated by medical professionals.
Life after kidney operation
You need to exercise healthy living habits in order to enjoy good life after kidney transplant and to avoid issues. You are therefore advised to do the following;
- Take healthy foods
- Lose weight if obese or overweight
- Cease smoking if you do
- Avoid issues that may lead to infections
Who needs Kidney transplant?
There are many conditions that can damage the kidneys including Kidney diseases and other diseases (affecting kidneys). Someone with a kidney failure either goes for transplant or Dialysis. In kidney transplant, one must get a kidney from a healthy donor whereas in dialysis the blood is filtered using an external machinery.
Although dialysis is a quick way to get relief, but most doctors prefer Kidney transplant because it is a long term and cost effective solution. The possible reasons for a kidney failure are:
- Acute kidney failure due to sudden illness in the body that affects kidney
- Kidney failure due to primary kidney disease
- Chronic kidney failure due to long-term disease like high blood pressure or diabetes
- Permanent Kidney failure due to infections or toxins