What you need to know about:

Kidney Transplant

Fast Fact

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Average Cost:
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Recovery Period:
4- 5 days in hospital
Permanence:
Depends on patient condition
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Time it takes:
4 hours
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Overview of

Kidney Transplant

in Thailand

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.

Goals of

Kidney Transplant

A kidney transplant is often the treatment of choice for kidney failure, compared with a lifetime on dialysis. A kidney transplant can treat chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease to help you feel better and live longer.

Price of

Kidney Transplant

Average Cost

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Price Range

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Pros and cons of

Kidney Transplant

Pros

-You will have more free time if you are not on dialysis

-You may be able return to work if you are not able to work now

-Higher probability that you will feel better and have more energy

-You may no longer have to restrict your fluid intake, and you may be able to eat some foods not now permitted

Cons

-The first is that of surgery, which involves the use of general anesthesia (being put to sleep).Infection, following the surgery, is another risk. So is having to return to the operating room if there is a complication. Although precautions are taken to minimize these risks, they are always a possibility with any major surgery. Another risk involves the medicines that are taken after transplant. Their purpose is to make your immune system less active so your body will not reject the kidney. Your immune system’s job is to fight off disease and infection. When its “fighting ability” is reduced by the medicines, diseases and infection can occur more readily. Sometimes, though rarely, death can result.

-Some patients have had many problems because of illness in addition to kidney failure. Some patient patients are older, some are not so old, but having other disease may pose greater risk for transplantation. Part of the evaluation involves weighing risks and benefits and determining whether the benefit outweighs the risk.

How it works:

Kidney Transplant

Your doctor can schedule the transplant in advance if you’re receiving a kidney from a living donor.

However, if you’re waiting for a deceased donor who’s a close match for your tissue type, you’ll have to be available to rush to the hospital at a moment’s notice when a donor is identified. Many transplant hospitals give their people pagers or cell phones so that they can be reached quickly.

Once you arrive at the transplant center, you’ll need to give a sample of your blood for the antibody test. You’ll be cleared for surgery if the result is a negative crossmatch.

A kidney transplant is done under general anesthesia. This involves giving you a medication that puts you to sleep during the surgery. The anesthetic will be injected into your body through an intravenous (IV) line in your hand or arm.

Once you’re asleep, your doctor makes an incision in your abdomen and places the donor kidney inside. They then connect the arteries and veins from the kidney to your arteries and veins. This will cause blood to start flowing through the new kidney.

Your doctor will also attach the new kidney’s ureter to your bladder so that you’re able to urinate normally. The ureter is the tube that connects your kidney to your bladder.

Your doctor will leave your original kidneys in your body unless they’re causing problems, such as high blood pressure or infection.

Preparation before

Kidney Transplant

Pre - treatment

Finding a match- A kidney donor can be living or deceased, related or unrelated to you. Your transplant team will consider several factors when evaluating whether a donor kidney will be a good match for you.

Take your medications as prescribed.

Follow your diet and exercise guidelines.

Don't smoke. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

Keep all appointments with your health care team.

Stay involved in healthy activities, including relaxing and spending time with family and friends.

Recovery after

Kidney Transplant

Post - treatment

Following surgery, you will have a urinary catheter draining urine from your bladder. The urinary catheter is usually removed after 5 days.

You will likely:

Spend several days to a week in the hospital. Doctors and nurses monitor your condition in the hospital's transplant recovery area to watch for signs of complications. Your new kidney will make urine like your own kidneys did when they were healthy. Often this starts immediately. In other cases it may take several days, and you may need temporary dialysis until your new kidneys begin to function properly. Expect soreness or pain around the incision site while you're healing. Most kidney transplant recipients can return to work and other normal activities within eight weeks after transplant. No lifting objects weighing more than 10 pounds or exercise other than walking until the wound has healed (usually about six weeks after surgery).

Have frequent checkups as you continue recovering. After you leave the hospital, close monitoring is necessary for a few weeks to check how well your new kidney is working and to make sure your body is not rejecting it. You may need blood tests several times a week and have your medications adjusted in the weeks following your transplant. During this time, if you live in another town, you may need to make arrangements to stay near the transplant center.

Take medications the rest of your life. You'll take a number of medications after your kidney transplant. Drugs called immunosuppressants (anti-rejection medications) help keep your immune system from attacking and rejecting your new kidney. Additional drugs help reduce the risk of other complications, such as infection, after your transplant.

Risks & side effects

Kidney transplant surgery carries a risk of significant complications, including:

-Blood clots and bleeding

-Leaking from or blockage of the tube (ureter) that links the kidney to the bladder

-Infection

-Failure or rejection of the donated kidney

-An infection or cancer that can be transmitted with the donated kidney

-Death, heart attack and stroke

FAQs:

Kidney Transplant

Does transplant work immediately?

Most transplants work immediately, and creatinine levels return to normal levels within weeks. A few transplanted kidneys will be slow to work. When this happens, dialysis is needed until the kidneys start to function.

Are there any reasons why I may not be able to have a kidney transplant?

Conditions that may prevent you from being eligible for a kidney transplant include:

Advanced age

Severe heart disease

Active or recently treated cancer

Dementia or poorly controlled mental illness

Alcohol or drug abuse

Any other factor that could affect the ability to safely undergo the procedure and take the medications needed after a transplant to prevent organ rejection

Will I still need dialysis after a successful transplant?

After a successful kidney transplant, your new kidney will filter your blood, and you will no longer need dialysis. In an uncommon scenario where the transplanted kidney is slow to work, you may still need dialysis until the doctor feels it is safe to stop.

To prevent your body from rejecting your donor kidney, you'll need medications to suppress your immune system. Because these anti-rejection medications make your body more vulnerable to infection, your doctor may also prescribe antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal medications.

What are anti-rejection medicines?

Normally, your body fights off anything that isn’t part of itself, like germs and viruses. That system of protection is called your immune system. To stop your body from attacking or rejecting the donated kidney, you will have to take medicines to keep your immune system less active (called anti-rejection medicines or immunosuppressant medicines).   You’ll need to take them as long as your new kidney is working.  Without them, your immune system would see the donated kidney as “foreign,” and would attack and destroy it.

How does the doctor determine if the donated kidney would be a good match?

Tests to determine whether a donated kidney may be suitable for you include:

-Blood typing. It's preferable to get a kidney from a donor whose blood type matches or is compatible with your own. Blood-type incompatible transplants are also possible but require additional medical treatment before and after transplant to reduce the risk of organ rejection. These are known as ABO incompatible kidney transplants.

-Tissue typing. If your blood type is compatible, the next step is a tissue typing test called human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing. This test compares genetic markers that increase the likelihood the transplanted kidney will last a long time. A good match means it's less likely that your body will reject the organ.

-Crossmatch. The third and final matching test involves mixing a small sample of your blood with the donor's blood in the lab. The test determines whether antibodies in your blood will react against specific antigens in the donor's blood. A negative crossmatch means they are compatible and your body isn't as likely to reject the donor kidney. Positive crossmatch kidney transplants also are possible but require additional medical treatment before and after the transplant to reduce the risk of your antibodies reacting to the donor organ.

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