Kidneys are one of the critical organs in the human body. They filter and remove waste and toxins from the blood in the form of urine. They also help maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Of course, the kidneys must be in good condition, otherwise the body will accumulate waste and toxins that contribute to various diseases. Sometimes the departments of nephrology and urology need to work together for certain kidney treatment
In some people, kidney disease develops gradually, leading to chronic kidney disease (CKD), kidney failure, and end-stage kidney disease (ESRD). However, the human body can even function properly with only one kidney. But when ESRD affects both kidneys, it is a serious situation that requires alternative ways of dealing with body waste.
One option is dialysis. Blood is taken from the body, cleaned in a dialysis machine and returned to the body. Dialysis is a complex procedure, requiring constant medication and one or more visits per week to the kidney specialist hospital.
Given the difficulties associated with dialysis, many patients prefer another option, renal transplants. This involves taking a healthy kidney from another living or dead person and transplanting it into the patient’s body. Both dialysis and kidney transplantation have their pros and cons, but for the purposes of this article we will only look at the pros and cons of renal transplants.
What Are The Benefits Of Kidney Transplant?
Better quality of life: The most important benefit of a renal transplant is quality of life. The patient can lead an almost normal life with sufficient time for daily activities. There are no frequent visits to the hospital, no constant monitoring is required.
Better Survival Rate Than Dialysis: If you are a suitable candidate for renal transplants, the chances of survival 5 to 10 years after transplantation are high. To determine if you are a suitable candidate, your doctor will carefully examine your lifestyle and medical history.
Fewer Diet Restrictions: Since the patient already has a functioning kidney, life is business as usual, therefore there are no dietary restrictions that cannot be avoided with dialysis.
More Energy: Transplant patients report better overall well-being and more energy than months and years of suffering from disease in their original kidney.
Let’s Have A Look At Disadvantages Of Kidney Transplant
Finding a kidney can be difficult: The first and foremost problem is finding a healthy kidney. Kidney donors can be people who are still living as family members, friends or even strangers. Or maybe someone who has recently had an accident or other illness that doesn’t affect their kidneys. Such expired donors are called cadaveric.
However, the survival rate of patients who received live donations was much better than that of cadavers. As a result, there is a permanent list of people who want a kidney transplant and expect a living donor.
Lifestyle-related: People with current or past alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and smoking are often excluded from the renal transplants.
Surgery: Renal transplants involve a surgical procedure under general anesthesia. Although some kidney specialist hospitals offer minimally invasive kidney transplant procedures, open incision surgery is still preferred. In addition, there is constant monitoring for several weeks after transplantation.
Medicine for life: The human immune system does not have the intelligence to understand the background of transplantation. It sees the transplanted kidney as a foreign body and tries to attack or reject the organ. These are natural impulses of the body that are suppressed by certain drugs called immunosuppressants. These and several other medications must be taken daily by the patient for the rest of their lives. In addition, any infection or minor illness requires the patient to rush to the hospital for close monitoring.
Which Patients Are Excluded From the Renal Transplant?
Patients who currently or have had cancer in the past or have a family history of cancer are excluded from the transplant. Also the patients with serious infections such as tuberculosis, bone infection or hepatitis, serious cardiovascular disease, liver disease, any chronic disease that can lead to death within a few years, and severe obesity (BMI over 40) are often excluded from the treatment for transplant. Moreover, those with dementia, uncontrolled mental illness, or other conditions leading to poor memory are also excluded.
What Recovery Stage Looks Like After Renal Transplant?
You may be able to get out of bed and walk the day after the transplant. Many people stay in the kidney specialist hospital for 5 days or less to improve their recovery rate.
While you’ll feel much better after about 2 weeks, you won’t be able to drive or lift heavy objects for about a month. Your doctor will likely advise you not to work for 6 to 8 weeks.
To prevent your body from rejecting the donor kidney, you need to take a special medication every day. You may need to see your doctor 2 to 3 times a week at first to make sure your body is being treated properly. Over time, these visits will gradually become much less.
You will recover faster if you stay active. The doctor will suggest to you what exercises are safe as well as necessary to do as well as for how long. Many people start with walking and stretching, then slowly progress to longer, more intense workouts. But sports like soccer are avoided because they can damage your donor kidney.
Quitting smoking and alcohol is the key to maintaining good health. You may also consider talking to a dietitian about planning a healthy diet. You will be able to eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more fluids than someone on dialysis. However, you should also choose foods that can keep blood pressure low and blood sugar stable.
When Should I Call The Doctor?
A renal transplant puts you at risk for health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. At this stage, you might get an infection. In rare cases, it can even infect your incision. Or it could be a fungal or viral infection that attacks your entire body, such as: Herpes zoster.
Your body will also likely start attacking (rejecting) the donor kidney. If yes, you can try:
- Pain, especially when urinating
- Produces less urine than usual
If you are noticing any of these symptoms, then you must consult a kidney specialist hospital
or your doctor immediately. But many people who have kidney transplants do very well.
Although kidney transplantation can have disadvantages, the experienced and qualified team of doctors from the Nephrology and Urology department of kidney specialist hospital will thoroughly prepare you for a successful transplant. After the renal transplants, they will guide you to make the lifestyle changes necessary to live a normal and healthy life.