The kidneys are the organs that we do not always think about unless kidney disease appears. However, we must remember that these organs have an important role in your life, because they are responsible for filtering the waste products.
Thus, when the kidneys stop working properly a transplant is required . This time we will talk about some things you should know about kidney transplants.
What is a kidney transplant
A kidney transplant is a surgical intervention in which a healthy kidney is incorporated to replace the kidney that has stopped functioning .
A healthy kidney can occupy the function of two dysfunctional kidneys. Because of this it is possible to live with a single kidney if you are a healthy person.
Therefore, only those who have both kidneys in perfect condition can make a donation of this type.
1. Types of kidney donors
When a kidney transplant is performed, the new organ may come from different types of donors:
- A living relative, like some of the parents , a brother or a son . These people are those who have better chances of being compatible because they have the same genetic origin.
One of the big problems is that those who suffer from a severe illness are automatically discarded.
- A donor unrelated to the patient , like a friend or spouse. Although it is less common, it is a viable option when you can not wait to have an organ from another source.
- A dead donor . Is the person who has recently died for a cause other than a kidney disease and also expressed his desire to be a donor.
The problem is that there is a long waiting list and compatibility is never guaranteed. In addition, donation is still not common in some countries.
2. Procedure for the kidney transplant recipient
Because this procedure is complex, there are certain steps that must be carried out. If you doctor he has suggested this surgery, ask him all your questions. The basic procedure is:
- The recipient receives general anesthesia before the surgical intervention.
- Then the surgeon makes a cut in the lower abdominal area and incorporates the new kidney inside the lower abdomen.
- The artery and vein of the new kidney are then connected to the artery and vein in the pelvis.
- The surgeon connects the ureter to the bladder.
- Finally, the surgeon makes sure that the blood circulates through the new kidney and urine is produced again in the same way as when the person had healthy kidneys.
Although the surgery ends in a few hours, it takes a few weeks for the new kidney to start functioning .
3. Complications in kidney transplantation
A kidney transplant can bring complications, the most common being:
1. Rejection of the transplant . This complication can be of two types:
- Hyperacute rejection. It begins a few minutes or days after the transplant and it is necessary to re-operate the patient to remove the kidney that has been transplanted.
- Acute rejection It occurs when, after a few weeks of the intervention, there is leakage of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the transplanted kidney .
This problem is treated with corticosteroids, as long as it is not a consequence of an immune response of the organism against the new kidney. Until now there is no effective treatment for the latter.
2. Infections due to the decrease in the body’s defenses as a consequence of immunosuppressive drugs.
3. Possibilities of suffering from some type of cancer as a result of immunosuppressive drugs.
4. Imbalance in the levels of calcium .
5. Side effects of medications : digestive problems, hair loss and type 2 diabetes, among others.
4. Main care after a kidney transplant
If you have had a kidney transplant, it is most likely due to a bad lifestyle . To reduce problems in the future it is important that you make real changes in:
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is necessary after a kidney transplant. Only in this way you ensure a complete recovery.
Follow the doctor’s instructions and get advice from a nutritionist to determine the proper portions and foods . Remember that if you have another disease, you will also have to take into account their requirements.
It is normal that after a transplant you feel weak because of the loss of muscle mass for the time you were sick. Thus, after the operation your doctor will recommend a program exercises or physiotherapy .
Avoid at all costs exceed or stop doing the routine. At the beginning you will feel tired, but over time your body will go back to its energy and physical condition.
5. Benefits of a kidney transplant
Some people are afraid of going through surgery of this type and choose the dialysis . However, there are some good reasons to choose surgery. These are:
- The transplant usually guarantees a better quality of life .
- A transplant allows the patient to live, approximately, 17 years after the operation.
- When opting for dialysis, the average life exceeds seven years and requires ten or more hours per week of treatment connected to a device.