Kidneys are the vital organs of the body, just like the heart. Mother Nature has very generously bestowed us with 2 of them, just in case. However, there are cases when, due to unavoidable circumstances, a kidney transplant is required. Read on to find out more about it.
Surgery For Kidney Transplant
Renal transplantation or kidney transplantation is an organ transplant that is usually carried out in patients who are suffering from the most severe stage of a renal disease. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is the condition, which when present, will require a kidney transplant.
Almost 25% of diabetes patients around the globe require kidney transplants. Since the kidneys are greatly responsible for osmoregulation and urine output, damage to the the kidneys can lead to severe health problems. That’s when the kidney replacement surgery works, proving to be a boon to mankind.
Similar Genetic Makeup
The body’s immune system has a wonderful mechanism of detecting and almost immediately destroying any foreign substance that is introduced in the body. However, this mechanism posed a major problem during organ transplants, the reason being the genetic difference among the organ donor and the recipient. However, with the emergence of various medications, the problem is now resolved and the donor and the recipient need not have similar genetic makeup.
Immunodepressants-Harmful or Not
Since these medicines are generally immunosuppressants, they tend to hamper with the immune responses, which does make the transplant easy, no doubt, but also increases the risk of infections that may occur during surgery, and various other complications, that may otherwise not have occurred. However, modifications have been done in these medications that help them cater to both the needs.
Procedure of the Transplant
The non-functional kidneys are generally not removed, in most cases, as this tends to increase the risk of surgical malfunctioning and infections. The new kidney is generally placed in a different position, inferior to the damaged kidneys. The surgery gets completed within a maximum of 3 hours. Hospital stay for 47 days with bed rest for a week is advised in almost all cases.
Post Surgical Care
The immunosuppressant drugs that were used to accept the new kidney need to be taken throughout the life by the patients, to ensure that the kidney works properly. Regular monitoring of blood levels should be done to detect decreased renal efficiency at an early stage. Pomegranate, green tea and grapefruits are to be strictly avoided after the transplant since these products often interfere with the immune suppressing efficiency of the medications.
Possible Complications Post Surgery
Rejection of transplant, occurring in 24% cases, is the major complication that may present itself after a transplant. Also, immunosuppressant drugs increase the risks of infections and sepsis. A lymphoma, known as post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder also shows up in 13% cases.
Calcium and phosphate balances go out of hand, leading to possible loss in bone mineral density. The immunosuppressant drugs may also cause other problems like hirsutism, gastrointestinal and gastroesopageal inflammation with possible ulceration, hair loss, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, acne and osteoporosis.
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