KIDNEY TRANSPLANT SURGERY
How Is Kidney Transplant Surgery Done?
Kidney transplant surgery can incorporate two (2) separate operations, when a living donor is involved.
First, an operation is required to remove a healthy kidney from a kidney donor. Secondly, the donated kidney has to be transplanted into the patient (recipient), whose kidneys have failed.
If successful, a kidney transplant operation restores sufficient kidney function so that the recipient may no longer need dialysis. In most cases, life is extended by many years and they are able to enjoy a much better quality of life.
In order to increase the likelihood of a successful kidney transplant, extensive planning and preparation is necessary. Before a kidney transplant operation is recommended or performed, a number of factors must first be considered. These include the age of the patient, the patient's health and the availability of a suitable donated kidney.
The blood and tissue profiles of the recipient and the donor must also be closely matched. This minimizes the risk of the transplanted kidney being rejected by the recipient's immune system.
Improvements in medications that suppress the immune system, to some extent, reduce the need for perfect matching. Nevertheless, close matching of the blood and tissue profiles of the recipient and donor is necessary, in order to increase the chances of a successful kidney transplant.
Kidney Transplant Surgery Process
A kidney transplant surgery is two dimensional. It begins with the removal of a healthy kidney from a donor, then transplanting the kidney to a recipient patient.
The entire procedure of removing a kidney from a donor and transplanting it to a recipient takes an average of three hours. After the kidney transplant operation, a regimen of immunosuppressive (or anti-rejection) medication and a special diet are required. This helps to suppress the immune system of the recipient, to reduce the risk of their immune system rejecting the donated kidney. The greatest risk after a kidney transplant is the risk that the recipient's immune system may reject the new kidney. It is, therefore, important to have proper post-surgery care for the recipient. This risk is minimized by immunosuppressive (or anti-rejection) medication.
Once the recipient's immune system does not reject the kidney and it begins to function properly, the patient can lead a relatively normal life. Successful kidney transplants have provided tremendous benefits to the recipient. In most cases the patient does not require further dialysis.
A kidney transplant surgery is relatively safe and it is the most effective treatment available to patients with chronic end stage renal disease. It offers patients enormous hope of a longer and significantly better quality of life. Unfortunately, however, many patients in need of a kidney transplant surgery have great difficulty finding a donor... since the demand for kidney donors, or donated kidneys, far exceeds the availability.