A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure of placing a donated kidney from a deceased or a living person inside the person whose kidneys have stopped working. This kidney failure can be the result of a variety of reasons including ageing, diabetes, high blood pressure, or any disease that diminishes the function of the kidney with time
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are found one on each side of the spine just under the rib cage. The main function of the kidneys is to filter and remove the waste of the body in the form of minerals and fluids. In short, the kidneys produce the urine as a waste product of the body.
With the loss of kidney function, the waste begins to get accumulated in the body, increasing the levels of these toxins and minerals beyond the harmful levels. This, then eventually results in kidney failure, which is the loss of more than 90% of the function of a kidney. However, kidney transplant is often the last stage of the treatment of end-stage kidney failure as a number of patients often continue their life with Dialysis.
It is a viable option for people who wish to not opt for a lifetime of dialysis. Also, it is a great option for people suffering from chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal failure. The main aim of a kidney transplant is to provide better comfort, longer life expectancy, fewer diet restrictions, and overall reduced risk of treatment when compared to dialysis.
Kidney transplant is categorized into 3 types, based on the type of procedure that is followed during the treatment.
Deceased donor transplants are when the kidney comes from a person who decided to donate their organs after their death. It is the most common type of kidney transplant and often has a waitlist attached with it.
In this transplant, the donor’s kidney comes from a living person who is willing to donate one of his kidneys to someone, especially a blood relative, to save their life. A person can live with just one kidney, and by donating a kidney to someone in need, a living donor can save one life.
These are special transplants performed for people with extreme cases before the beginning of dialysis. A rather uncommon form of a kidney transplant, preemptive transplants are performed because of certain benefits that they present.
You need to make sure that before the transplant, it is important to maintain your healthy and proper body weight to avoid any complications that may arise during the transplant, or may postpone the transplant altogether. This is because our specialized team will evaluate you based on a number of factors, one of which includes your ability and health to tolerate the life-long implications of surgery. You would also be checked for any other medical condition that may hinder with the transplant.
Post this, you will be going through a tests, which may continue for a few days. These tests include:
Imaging like X-rays, MRIs, and/or CT Scans
Physical and psychological evaluation
Other tests depending on the doctor’s evaluation.
After this evaluation, the doctors will then put you on a priority list, so you can either get a kidney or find a suitable candidate for getting a living donor’s kidney.
A match for a kidney transplant is determined based on compatibility judged by a number of factors. The major aim is to find a kidney that will match with the receiver’s body type and blood type, and will not face rejection from the body’s immune system. For this purpose, the doctors follow a few specific guidelines and tests that include:
Blood Type: A matching or compatible blood type is important as it reduces the risk of organ rejection.
Tissue Type: Tissue typing or HLA matching (human leukocyte antigen) is the next step. This compares the genetic markers that match to increase the likelihood of success of a transplant. This also ensures that the kidney will last longer.
Crossmatching: Crossmatching is the process off mixing your blood with the donor’s blood in order to determine whether the antibodies will react to the antigens in the donor’s blood. This again has to do with organ rejection, which means a negative crossmatch is desirable.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to maintain your health before the transplant in order to not face any complications during the procedure. Apart from that, staying healthy is an important step towards ensuring that your body will be able to take the load of the procedure, and will recover faster after the transplant. For ensuring this, you must:
Take prescribed medications
Follow diet and exercise as guided
Get involved in healthy activities
Your doctor and our team will stay in touch with you so they can keep you updated and monitor your progress. In the meantime, it is advised that you stay ready for the transplant, pack a separate bag and keep it handy. We will make all the travel arrangements and take care of all other logistics and formalities involved in the process.
Kidney transplants are done with general Anaesthesia, meaning that you will not be awake at the time of the procedure. The surgeon makes an incision in the lower abdomen and places the new kidney in your body, attaching the blood vessels and the ureter of the new kidney into the body. Unless the old kidneys cause a problem like high blood pressure, kidney stones, pain or chances of infection, they are left in place inside the body.
The surgeon will then close the incision and send you to recover into the intensive care unit.
After the completion of the transplant, you should expect to wake up in the ICU as this is where the doctors and their team will monitor you for any complications or rejection. This is how your recovery period will go like:
ICU: You will spend some days in ICU where the new kidney will begin to work for you just like the old ones used to when they were healthy. This may either start immediately or may take some time. During this time, you may be put on temporary dialysis to help the body in cleaning up.
Hospital Stay: You will continue recovering in the hospital for a few more days, where soreness and pain around the incision site may continue to bother you.
Recovering From Home: People usually take about 8 to 10 weeks to return to their usual activities. Lifting a weight higher than 5 Kgs is not advised, while exercises other than walking are not recommended until the incision has healed.
Diets, schedules, and appointments: You will also be provided with a diet plan, exercise schedule, and check-up schedule with our partner doctors in your own country.
Medication: You will be instructed to take medicines for the rest of your life in order to supplement your system, and suppress your immune system from attacking your new kidney.
We are known to the world around to provide the services of some of India’s best and top doctors for patients arriving from all over the world. With world-class hospitals and highly experienced doctors at your service, you can get the best care in the world for kidney transplant services.