Kidney Transplant Surgery: What to Expect

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Kidney Transplant Surgery: What to Expect
Kidney Transplant Surgery: What to Expect

The kidneys are one of the most vital organs in the body. These bean-shaped organs remove waste and extra fluids from the body through urine. Kidney failure leads to increased amounts of waste in the body, raising blood pressure. It occurs when the organs lose 90% of their capacity to function. When your kidneys stop functioning, you can either get dialysis which uses a machine to eliminate waste from the blood or go for a kidney transplant.

A kidney transplant surgery is an operation in which the non-functioning kidney/kidneys are removed and replaced by a healthy kidney from a donor (living/deceased).

Kidney failure could occur because of: 

  • Chronic and uncontrolled hypertension
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis: inflammation and possible scarring of the tiny filters in the kidneys
  • Diabetes
  • Polycystic kidney disease

How to Prepare for the Kidney Transplant Procedure

Step 1 – Choose a transplant hospital

You choose a transplant centre or hospital as your medical practitioner recommends. Doctors at Max Healthcare group specialise in the field and will guide you through the process. They can also provide information about possible donors. The hospitals under this group are equipped with the best medical personnel for a successful kidney transplant procedure.

You must also consider the following:

  • Your budget for the entire procedure.
  • Support groups, travel, and local accommodations
  • Transplant technologies and techniques

Step 2 – Evaluation

A health assessment will be conducted to check if you are fit to undergo surgery and take medication for life after the transplant. The assessment can take several days, and you must undergo: 

  • A thorough physical examination
  • CT scans, X-rays, MRIs, or other imaging tests as recommended by the doctor
  • Blood tests
  • Psychological assessment
  • Other required tests

Step 3 – The transplant team will discuss the assessment report, and the results will help doctors decide whether you are fit for the surgery.

Before the Kidney Transplant Procedure

Find a Kidney Donor Match

Tests will be conducted to verify the compatibility of the donor’s kidney:

  • Blood Type – The donor blood group should match or be compatible with your blood group. ABO-incompatible kidney transplants are also possible when the blood group doesn’t match, but it’s better to go for the proper compatibility.
  • Tissue Type: A human leukocyte antigen (HLA) or a tissue test verifies if your body will accept or reject the organ.
  • Crossmatch: This test is to verify whether the antibodies in your blood react to antigens in the donor’s blood.

Age match, kidney size, and exposure to infections are other factors considered when finding the most suitable donor kidney for you.

During the Kidney Transplant Procedure

The kidney donor and recipient usually stay in the same ward the day before the surgery and move to separate wards after the surgery. Technology has significantly advanced the process of kidney transplant surgery. The removal of the donor’s kidneys is done using laparoscopic techniques.

The doctor makes small incisions in your lower abdomen, inserts the laparoscope to access the kidney, and inspects the area on a television-like monitor.

The surgery is done under general anaesthesia, and the surgical team will constantly monitor your oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate levels.

The doctor then inserts the new kidney through the incision and will be placed there unless it causes complications like pain, infection, or high blood pressure.

The blood vessels of the new kidney will be connected to the vessels near the leg in the lower abdomen, and the ureter of the new kidney will be connected to the bladder.

After the Kidney Transplant Procedure

Depending on your medical condition, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days or weeks. Your discharge from the hospital depends on how fast your new kidney starts producing urine and how quickly your body gets used to it. To begin with, you may need temporary dialysis for the removal of waste from your body.

Expect pain or tenderness around the incision site as you heal. You can return to normal activities within 5-7 weeks of the transplant.

Post-surgery Care

  • Avoid lifting heavy things
  • Get regular check-ups and choose close monitoring along with blood tests. There are certain risks after the surgery, so you may have to make specific lifestyle changes and be strict with your post-surgery care to avoid future complications
  • You must take prescribed medicines without fail, and this could be for life

Final Words

A kidney transplant will ensure you don’t need dialysis any longer, but this may put you on medication for life. Skipping your medications may result in your body rejecting the new kidney. If you face any side effects, you must immediately consult your doctor. Post-surgery, your lifestyle and acceptance of the new organ in your body will ensure your state of health, your resilience, and your expectation of a certain quality of life. 

At the Max Healthcare group, healthcare specialists are trained and experienced in ensuring beneficial outcomes from kidney transplantation. There is no single opinion as your condition is discussed by the transplant assistants working together to deliver the best for you. Get in touch with Max Healthcare group for further medical assistance.

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