Kidney transplant: Who can have it? Procedure, risks and complications!

Here are some facts you need to know about kidney transplantation or renal transplantation.

Kidney transplant: Who can have it? Procedure, risks and complications!

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is currently undergoing treatment for kidney failure at AIIMS, is likely to recieve a transplant next week.

According to hospital sources, the process required for pretransplant has been completed with the organ being harvested from a living unrelated donor.

Here are some key facts you need to know about kidney transplantation or renal transplantation.

What is a kidney transplant?

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure in which a healthy kidney from a live or deceased person is transferred to someone whose kidneys no longer function. In other words, it is the organ transplant of a kidney into a patient with end-stage renal disease.

What are the common causes of end-stage renal disease?

Diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic glomerulonephritis - an inflammation either of the glomeruli or of the small blood vessels in the kidneys - polycystic kidney disease, are some common causes of end-stage renal disease.

Who can have a kidney transplant?

People with chronic kidney disease who meet certain criteria of kidney function and those on dialysis can have one, regardless of their age. Doctors will also carry out some evaluation to determine whether the transplant would be safe and beneficial for the patients. The transplant team will also check you for other serious conditions, cardiovascular disease, including chronic infections and cancer.

Different types of kidney transplants

There are two types of kidney transplantations depending on the source of the donor organ. They are-

Living-donor transplantation -- a patient gets a kidney from someone who is still alive. A living donor may be someone in your immediate or extended family, but occasionally a stranger.

Deceased or non-living-donor transplant – a person with kidney failure gets a kidney from someone who is dead but has chosen to donate his/her organs upon death.

What are the risks involved in transplantation?

There are a number of risks associated with kidney transplantations although rates of serious complications have fallen sharply in last few decades. The risks of a kidney transplant include:

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Failure of the donated kidney
  • Rejection of the donated kidney
  • Infection
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

Perhaps, following a healthy lifestyle - such as eating a healthy diet, not smoking, keeping body weight in check, taking steps to reduce infections - after a kidney transplant is critical for minimising the risk of complications.

Although a kidney transplant is the most successful treatment for kidney failure, there are no 100% guarantees. Since kidney transplantation is a life-extending procedure, a person who receives a transplant may live 10 to 15 years longer than if kept on dialysis.



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